J20 summit: Indian courts re-imagined as democratic spaces of discourse not imposing empires: CJI


PTI, May 15, 2024, 4:33 PM IST

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud (Credit: PTI)

New Delhi: Indian courts have come to be “re-imagined” not as imposing “empires” but as democratic spaces of discourse as the opaqueness has gone, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said on Wednesday.

The CJI was addressing the J20 Summit at Rio de Janeiro on ‘Digital transformation and the use of technology to enhance judicial efficiency’. J20 is a summit of the heads of supreme courts or the constitutional courts of G20 member states and is being organised by the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court in light of Brazil’s Presidency of G20 this year.

“Our courts have come to be re-imagined not as imposing ‘empires’, but as democratic spaces of discourse. COVID-19 pushed the frontiers of our court systems- which were compelled to change overnight. Courts became more than just opaque physical spaces,” the CJI said.

Justice Chandrachud also spoke on the digital divide and representational asymmetry between parties to dispute and low-connectivity locations.

Terming them as “bottlenecks”, the CJI said, “We must tackle. When we speak of judicial efficiency, we must look beyond the efficiency of the judge and think of a holistic judicial process. Efficiency lies not only in outcomes but in these processes which must ensure free and fair hearing.” Efficiency lies not only in outcomes but in these processes- which must ensure free and fair hearing, he said.

“The potential of technology lies in how we convert it to minimise pre-existing inequalities. Inequalities are not neatly stacked compartments; they are rather a complex web of interwoven realities. Technology is not a one-stop panacea for all social inequalities.

“Complicated issues such as AI-profiling and consequent stigmatisation of individuals in large language models, algorithmic bias, misinformation, exposure of sensitive information, and opacity of black box models in AI must be tackled with sustained deliberative efforts and engagement about the dangers,” he said.

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