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International Conference of Jurists on Rule of Law 2007, New Delhi

The International Council of Jurists, All India Bar Association and Indian Council of Jurists jointly organized a two-day "International Conference of Jurists on Rule of Law" on November 24-25, 2007 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Her Excellency the President of India Ms. Pratibha D. Patil inaugurated the Conference on November 24, 2007. The Hon'ble Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan presided over the Conference. The RT Hon The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers,The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales attended the conference as Special Guest of Honor.
President Pratibha Patil said courts should make procedures as simple as possible for persons to gain access. The President said, “even though free legal aid is guaranteed for the weaker sections of society, it should be remembered that the quality of legal aid plays a very important role. Creative solutions to this problem will have to be thought of.” Pointing out that sometimes justice delayed could become justice denied, she said there was a need to ensure speedier disposal of cases.

“In a country with the size and magnitude of India, there remain many challenges in providing social justice as well as justice to the marginalised sections of our society. High cost of judicial remedy is a cause for concern and needs rectification. Alternative dispute settlement systems need to be encouraged. We need to reinforce our efforts for the better implementation of the rule of law particularly for the disadvantaged sections of society.”

The President said challenges to the rule of law would also include problems of international terrorism, a global economic order that did not have adequate representation in international financial institutions for developing countries, weapons of mass destruction, and transnational crimes such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, who presided, said: “We must not forget that the forces of fundamentalism, extremism, internal terrorism are prevalent at least in some parts of this country. The traditional approaches to reducing the crime and violence based on increasing mechanism and control and harsher sanctions have failed to reduce crime.

“It is true that in this country the judiciary has a great role of play but the existence of a good judicial system is not enough to protect citizens against abuses of state power. Adequate laws and institutional mechanisms are also needed. Only administration based on good governance can maintain the rule of law in this country.”

Referring to Friday’s bomb blasts in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, the Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, said terrorism posed a serious challenge to the rule of law.

The President of the International Bar Association, Mr. Fernando Pombo, and the President of the International Council of Jurists, Mr. Adish C. Aggarwala, explained the significance of the conference.

On this occassion, The President of India Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil was also presented a Memento by Mr. Adish C. Aggarwala, President, International Council of Jurists,in recognition of her contribution as guardian of constitution.

The Hon'ble Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan was also presented a Memento in recognition to his immeasurable contribution to the system of administration of justice in India.

On this momentous occasion, the International Council of Jurists conferred the INTERNATIONAL JURISTS AWARD-2007 on eminent jurists who have made a mark in their respective fields of law and have shown the way for others to follow. These awards were given to
•     The RT Hon The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers,The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales in recognition to his lifetime contribution for cause of justice.
Mr. Fernando Pombo, President of International Bar Association in recognition of his selfless dedication to affairs of legal fraternity.
•     Mr. Hansraj Bhardwaj, Minister of Law and Justice, India for catalyzing socio legal reforms at par global standards.
On this occasion NATIONAL LAW DAY AWARDS 2007 were presented by Her Excellency the President of India Ms. Pratibha D. Patil to
Hon’ble Dr. Justice A.S.Anand, former Chief Justice of India, for his contribution towards Administration Of Justice.
Mr. P.P.Malhotra, Additional Solicitor General of India in recognition towards his work in field of Jurisprudence.
•     Mr. H.S. Mattewal, Advocate General of Punjab,for his contribution towards Constitutional Law.
Mr. S.Gopakumaran Nair, Chairman, Bar Council of India for recognition of his work in field of Legal Education And Leadership.
•     Mr. S. Prabhakaran for his contribution towards Criminal Law.
•     Mr. Diljeet Titus for his contribution towards Corporate Law.
•     Mr. Lalit Bhasin for his contribution towards the field of Bar Affairs.
Dr. Shivajirao Kadam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bhartiya Vidyapeeth for his contribution towards the Legal Education.
•     Mr.Yatin N Oza for his contribution towards the Civil Law.

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