Modernizing the Indian Judiciary
T. S. Thakur, Chief Justice of India
Chair: Elham Saudi, Associate Fellow, International Law Programme and Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
With a population of around 1.3 billion people, India faces a number of unique challenges to the efficient functioning of its justice system. The average Indian judge currently disposes of nearly 2,600 cases every year and even with such a high turnover rate, large cases can take decades to move through the various stages of judgement and appeal. The Supreme Court of India, with 31 judges, has nearly 60,000 cases currently outstanding.
The chief justice of the supreme court will discuss how such an overburdened judiciary affects access to justice for individuals, hindering the evolution of important socio-economic and minority rights jurisprudence in which India was a forerunner. Moreover, he will contend that corporations are no less affected. He will argue that the continued foreign investment necessary to maintain rapid economic development rests on the ability of the judicial system to deal with cases and disputes that may arise out of such investments and if India fails to properly resource its judiciary, it will act as a significant disincentive to do business in the country.
To enable as open a debate as possible, this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.
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