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judicial reform

08 June 2009

India needs to enhance its arbitration offerings and overhaul its courts’ processes to give its backlog of cases any chance of closure before the year 3000.

bombay-high-courtA trip to the neo-Gothic ­Bombay High Court is an entertaining experience that should be on every visiting lawyer’s travel itinerary. Once past the sandbagged machine gun emplacements outside, loosen your tie and spend a few hours wandering about open-air corridors between throngs of locals, hundreds of offices with unfathomable purposes and court rooms filled beyond bursting point.

Also spare a thought for the unfortunate litigants, who will most likely not find the experience as enjoyable.

The running joke in India goes that, if you litigate here, your sons and daughters will inherit your dispute.

29 May 2009

Law Minister - Veerappa MoilyTop Indian lawyers are stumped by Veerappa Moily's appointment as Minister of Law and Justice, which was announced late last night defying all observers' expectations.

Moily (pictured) is a seasoned Congress politician and practicing lawyer in Bangalore but unlike the candidates expected to be shoo-ins for the job, he is an unknown quantity.

One top Mumbai lawyer said: "I have no idea what this will do to things." 

"It is a real surprise," added another Delhi partner. "Now it's very hard to tell what will happen. I know reforms will be on the agenda but I don't know how quickly. I think there will have to be renewed lobbying."

28 May 2009

Law-Minister-HR-Bhardwaj

Incumbent Law Minister H R Bhardwaj has been dropped from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's new Cabinet in a surprise round of appointments today that could derail the process of India's judicial and legal reform.

With continuity being a prized quality in Indian political progress, it is still unclear who will get the law and justice portfolio and whether the existing course of reform will be held.

One Delhi lawyer, who preferred not to be named, said: "If he had come in, we would probably be looking at a December opening. But now that he is not and some non-descript person is slated to come in, I think it is open for speculation."

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