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Judicial Reforms: Access To Justice

A Rule that cannot be bent will certainly be broken -- Robert Brault

Judicial reforms are the structure or wider picture of any country from a political or legal perspective. Judicial reforms were introduced by Lord Cornwallis (governor-general from 1786- 1793). The changes he made in 1787,1790,1793 were known as Judicial Plan.

Access to Justice is a concept that means treating people equally and unaware ones getting enough legal aid to have knowledge about their basic human rights.

India's judiciary has not been efficient in past years. There have been many examples where implementation of laws led in. suffering for litigants and citizens were forced to look for extra alternatives. In the survey, it was found India has registered the highest number of under-trial prisoners, and 4.2 lakh people in India are waiting for trial. Indian judiciary has become slow day by day. In Indian society, people are wholly dependent on the judiciary for justice.

The sad part is we cannot resist them even if people challenge courts. It creates a burden on the courts and wastes a great amount of time which led delays in justice, pending cases, corruption, transparency, lack of interaction with society.

The covid-19 pandemic hit and caused the unpredictable lockdown. The pandemic affected various sectors of our country. Due to nationwide lockdown, the Supreme court and high court were temporarily closed. So, in order to adjudicate matters and to enable access to justice at all times. The Supreme court rolled out virtual hearings.

Virtual courts are courts that eliminate the necessity of human presence. E courts are a subset of virtual courts. It assists to maintain the proper functioning of virtual courts.

  1. It delivers results faster shortens commute time or waiting time at courts. It will be organized in a more disciplined manner and will be less time consuming
  2. There are many kinds of cases that do not require physical presence for that virtual courts can be considered and reduce crowd in courts and reduce litigation cost.
  3. Video conferencing is a smooth way for lawyers to be present in the court from any part of India. many cases can be heard in a single day
  4. At present, there are no. of cases registered transfer of certain categories and reduce the burden of cases.
  5. Flexibility in working of court using remote working technology.
  6. It avails access to justice 24/7
  7. Moreover, it is cheap, accessible, and affordable for all

  1. One of the hurdles which can be faced is bad connectivity. Technical glitches are hindering the proper functioning of the court hearing.
  2. There will be genuine problems in evidence produced and identity of witness
  3. Its will wholly work on software so it possesses threat to privacy of data confidentiality of court proceedings is at risk.
  4. Speedier delivery of justice cannot be compromise with quality of justice
  5. Setting up of this system requires huge investments.

To tackle the problem of lack of basic infrastructure internet connection issue. It is necessary to customize the software to suit the need of the Indian judiciary and the fluent functioning of virtual courts. We cannot compromise the privacy of data on grounds of accessibility for that it is recommended by committees to have blockchain technology to improve and fortify the security of case files. Technologies should be built in a way legal rights like fairness, impartiality, and access to justice are not compromised.

Ease of access is the main function of justice delivery. The quality of arbitration in the courtroom shall not be of any use if the access to justice is not there in the first place. This opportunity can help to reduce the huge backlog of cases. However, creating a new platform of justice will be full of challenges but this current catastrophe would be a great chance for the digitalization of Indian courts.

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