No. IPR (PR)-03/2008 Dated Naharlagun the 19th April, 2010
PRESS RELEASE –433
Ensure legal and judicial outcomes are just and equitable: Governor
Itanagar, April 18: Access to justice is much more than improving an individual’s access to courts, or guaranteeing legal representation. It must be defined in terms of ensuring that legal and judicial outcomes are just and equitable.A sensitive administration and an efficient and impartial judiciary are the cornerstones of access to justice and socio-economic development. This was stated by Arunachal Pradesh Governor, Gen JJ Singh in the valedictory function of the two-day conference on access to justice and socio-economic developmental programmes for the North Eastern States at Guwahati on April 18, reports PRO to Governor.
Gracing the function as the Chief Guest and dwelling on the judiciary system in the region, Arunachal Pradesh Governor said, the system of adjudication of disputes among the various tribes in the North-East is in accordance with the tribal customs and practices of their own traditional institutions. The procedure and methodology of the said institutions is very well understood and accepted by the people and some of them have ripened into what we call customary laws and social practices which are binding on the community and have acquired the informal status of law.
Referring the UNDP note ‘Access to Justice’, Gen Singh pointed, it has rightly identified that informal and traditional mechanisms of justice are often more accessible to poor and disadvantaged people and may have the potential to provide speedy, affordable and meaningful remedies to the poor and disadvantaged. But they are not always effective and do not necessarily result in justice. There is, thus, a need for uniform and codified law, and the need for traditional systems to evolve toward serving justice in full respect of international human rights standards, such as gender equality, non-discrimination for reasons of age or social status, respect for life and due process guarantees for criminal defendants.
In his Presidential address, Gen Singh added, in the present generation, there is a growing tendency for access to justice reform (both multilateral and bilateral) and to focus on programmes supporting formal mechanisms of justice, especially processes of adjudication by the judiciary. This is understandable from a governance perspective. However, from access to justice perspectives, it is essential that common parameters of assessment be applied to both formal and informal justice mechanisms.
Reiterating his call for documentation of the proceedings of the conference and be shared with all the stakeholders engaged in nation building, so that the ultimate output draws on the experience of all who can contribute towards this righteous venture, he expressed his appreciation to the President of India, Chief Justice of India and Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court and people associated with the conference for holding the event which has huge significant to the people of the region.
Recalling Verrier Elwin, Bimla Prasad Chaliha, K.A.A Raja, Gen Singh urged upon all to draw inspiration from great leaders and administrators who were truly committed to improve the lot of the society in the North East, particularly the remote tribal areas. We need more dedicated visionaries like them today, he added.
Supreme Court of India Judges, Justice Mr. Altamas Kabir and Justice Dr. Mukundakam Sharma, Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court, Justice Mr. R.S. Garg, Judge of Guwahati High Court, Justice Mrs. Anima Hazarika, who also spoke in the valedictory function of the Two-day conference made valuable remarks, observations and comments which were appreciated by all. National Legal Services Authority, member secretary, U. Sarathchandran also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, while summing up of the working sessions of the conference, Guwahati High Court Judge, Justice Rangjan Gogoi gave the summary of the proceedings and deliberation of the conference.
The two-day conference, which was organized by the North Eastern Regional Committee for Access to Justice and Socio-Economic Developmental Pragrammes, was inaugurated by the President of India on April 17 last.
The conference had eight technical sessions, which includes, Right to Education: A North Eastern Perspective, North-East and Media, Environment and Sustainable Development, Drug Trafficking and AIDS, Rights and Maintenance of Senior Citizens, Terrorism and Human Rights in North East, Human Trafficking for Child Labour and Prostitution and Domestic Violence and Gender Equality: North East Scenario,adds the report.
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