NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised upon the need for multiple nations to come together to ensure justice delivery. “When we collaborate, we can understand each other’s system better”, the Prime Minister continued, “Greater understanding brings greater synergy, synergy boosts better and faster justice delivery.”
He was speaking at the inauguration of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) – Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC) 2024 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on February 3.
The theme of the conference was ‘Cross-Border Challenges in Justice Delivery’ and it deliberated upon issues pertaining to law and justice like judicial transition and the ethical dimensions of legal practice; executive accountability; and revisiting modernday legal education, among others.
Chief Justice of India Justice DY Chandrachud, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, SC judge Justice Surya Kant, Attorney General R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and S Sivakumar, President of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association were present on the occasion.
Jurisdiction a tool
Referring to the cooperation and interdependence of systems like that of air and maritime traffic control, the Prime Minister said we need to expand cooperation to investigation and justice delivery. He underlined that cooperation can take place while respecting each other’s jurisdiction as when we work together, jurisdiction becomes a tool to deliver justice without delaying it.
Noting the presence of African representatives at the conference, the Prime Minister highlighted India’s special relationship with the African Union and expressed pride that the group became a part of G20 during India’s presidency. He said it will go a long way in addressing the aspirations of the people of Africa.
Recalling his interaction with legal fraternities across the world in the past few months, the Prime Minister mentioned the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Supreme Court of India a few days ago and the International Lawyers Conference held in September. .
He underlined that such interactions become a medium to celebrate the work of the justice system as well as create opportunities for better and more efficient justice delivery.
Nature, scope of crime
Throwing light on the radical changes in the nature and scope of crime in recent times, PM Modi pointed out the vast networks created by criminals across countries and their usage of the latest technology both in funding and operations.
He also drew attention to the fact that economic crimes in one region are being used to fund activities in other regions, and the challenges of the rise of cryptocurrency and cyber threats.
Stressing that the issues of the 21st century cannot be tackled with a 20th-century approach, the Prime Minister underscored the need to rethink, reimagine and reform including modernising legal systems, making the system more flexible and adaptable.
The Prime Minister highlighted that reform cannot take place without making the justice system more citizencentric as ease-of-justice is the pillar of justice delivery.
“Legal education is a key instrument in boosting justice delivery”, the Prime Minister said, noting that both passion and professional competence are introduced to young minds through education.
The Prime Minister emphasised the need for young legal minds with diverse exposure while asserting that legal education needs to adapt to changing times and technologies. He said that a focus on understanding the latest trends in crimes, investigation and evidence would be helpful. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister asserted that every challenge in justice delivery can be addressed if the one shared value of passion for justice is shared among nations.