Higher Education in Law Must Be Extended to Remote Areas, Non-English Speaking: CJI Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India Justice DY Chandrachud on Friday said university education in law should be extended to remote rural areas so that students from small towns are not deprived of the opportunity to become lawyers.

Speaking at the inauguration event of the Dr Rajendra Prasad National Law University here, Chandrachud said, “Technology has given us the ability to reach out to far-flung students. Despite developments in legal education, the contemporary legal education system favours only English-speaking urban children.”

He said, “A survey conducted on diversity in five law universities shows that children from diverse backgrounds are unable to get admission in these universities due to not being able to speak English.”

Chandrachud, who was the chief guest of the programme, said, “Today, because of Bhashini software, we have translated about 36,000 judgments of the Supreme Court from 1950 to 2024. Its objective is to make these decisions for every citizen who does not know English and practises law in the district courts.”

He said that even such opportunities as moot courts, internships and competitions were traditionally designed keeping in mind children coming from elite families.

“Law colleges and universities should design it keeping in mind children coming from diverse backgrounds,” he said.

The CJI also appealed to the varsity administration to keep the medium of instruction to be Hindi, so that the best students from Uttar Pradesh become the best lawyers.

He said, “Since the Indian Independence movement to the Constitution making process and to contemporary Indian politics, lawyers have significantly contributed to nation building.

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“Lawyers play a crucial and multi-faceted role in society, contributing to the functioning of the legal system and promoting justice. They represent individuals and entities ensuring that their rights are protected. This includes criminal defence, civil litigation and advocacy for various legal issues.”

He added, “The role of lawyers includes the representation of the marginalised and vulnerable communities, ensuring that they have a voice in the legal system.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Justice Manoj Misra of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Justice Arun Bhansali, Uttar Pradesh Advocate General Ajay Kumar Mishra and University Vice-Chancellor Usha Tandon also addressed the gathering.

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