“Ensuring equality before the law and the supremacy of the rule of law in the Indian democracy.”I am proud to present to you and to connect you to the legal profession in India. In the largest democracy in the world, the role of the legal profession cannot be underestimated as it is the law and the delivery of justice that serve as the conscience of a nation and the foundation of the society that India is, and will become, in the years to come.In spite of the wear and tear and the erosion suffered during the passage of time, the legal fraternity in India continues to be an influential seat of society and the legal profession carries with it the identity of a noble and learned profession, which has produced great leaders for India (including during our freedom struggle). However, our profession finds itself at the crossroads today and it is the path that we choose that will surely influence the future of India as a true democracy.
These issues broadly are:
* Inadequate quality of legal education and infrastructure
* Lack of relevant skills training to meet with the ever-changing demands of the modern world
* Lack of clear data on the profession for assessment and efficient distribution of resources
* Low absorption of technology and lack of connect with different parts of a modern economy
* Lack of entry point and continuous assessment mechanisms to ensure the continuous growth and improvement of the legal profession
* Lack of awareness and ideation about the heritage, tradition, and culture of the legal profession, and levels of excellence within the legal profession, and a consequent lack of motivation to fulfil the highest aspirations within the profession
* Lack of the ability to ensure access to basic human rights to the poor and marginalised sections of society, and the realisation of the vision of the Indian lawyer as an effective social engineer
While each of the above problems can be seen in isolation, it is their cumulative effect that has a negative bearing on the identity of the entire Indian legal profession. Irrespective of the success any part of the profession may achieve, it will always carry along with it the positives and negatives of our collective identity and hence every part of the profession is a stakeholder in this identity.
It is in this light that the Bar Council of India is seeking to connect, create and implement large-scale solutions to strengthen the Indian lawyer and the Indian legal profession by March 31, 2012.
These solutions will be aimed at all aspects of the profession, but the highest priority would be on the following areas:
* Raising the quality of the bar through entry-level assessment and continuous education and training
* Providing access to knowledge and information resources (embracing a multi-disciplinary approach) to all parts of the legal profession
* Creating a database of lawyers, law schools, academia and law students across the country so that resources can be efficiently deployed and common platforms can be created
* Creating clear quality standards for legal education and a common entry level standard for entering law schools across the country
* Creating a system of access to hardware and software resources, as well as training on the use of technology across the profession
* Establishing a strong system of connect between the legal profession and the weakest sections of society, so as to provide effective legal aid, and the fulfilment of the profession’s role as an agent of social justice and equity
* Improving interaction between the bar and the judiciary so as to establish a common platform to collectively address problems facing justice delivery in India
* Identifying clear values and standards so that the legal profession is fearlessly independent and of robust character
* Through a combination of the above, raising the confidence and skills of the constituents of the legal profession, thereby improving the identity of the profession as a whole
As a statutory body having access to the entire legal profession (including the senior leadership of law officers in India) the Bar Council of India will reach out to all parts of the legal profession and create long-term solutions in each of these areas. The Bar Council of India also undertakes to conduct itself in a transparent and approachable manner so as to reflect the thoughts and aspirations of the Indian legal profession.
We look forward to the support of the entire legal profession in our collective endeavour to create a modern legal profession that does justice to its heritage, aspirations, obligations and competence.
Bar Council of India
21, Rouse Avenue
New Delhi – 110002.
Telephone Nos.:011-49225000, 011-32402082
E-mail ID: [email protected]