Supreme Court Justice Sanjiv Khanna emphasized the importance of using plain language in the legal profession during his address at the closing session of the International Lawyers' Conference hosted by the Bar Council of India. Justice Khanna pointed out that laws are designed to resolve disputes rather than becoming disputes themselves, underscoring the need for clarity and accessibility in legal language.
"Is law required to be demystified?" Justice Khanna questioned. He expressed the view that law should not be treated as a puzzle to be deciphered only by legal experts. Instead, he emphasized that the use of simple language is essential because laws govern various aspects of daily life, and this simplicity allows citizens to make informed decisions and avoid unintentional violations, PTI reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated the conference, had earlier highlighted the government's efforts to draft laws in a straightforward manner and in Indian languages to ensure justice for all. He stressed the importance of ordinary citizens feeling a sense of ownership over the law.
Justice Khanna also raised concerns about the commercialization of litigation and the legal profession, particularly the escalating costs and exorbitant fees that hinder access to justice. He urged lawyers and judges to reflect on and address the decline in interest in litigation as a career choice, pointing out that low retainership and stipends for young lawyers were contributing factors.
Justice Khanna emphasized the significance of a strong, independent, and fair bar as a cornerstone of a just society governed by the rule of law. He highlighted that disputes are a normal part of human interactions, particularly in cross-border trade and commerce. International law, both substantive and procedural, plays a vital role in ensuring impartial and fair resolutions. Additionally, he stressed the need for rules that facilitate the recognition and swift enforcement of decisions in cross-border disputes.