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Civil courts need timetable to dispose of cases faster
February, 27th 2012

Civil courts need to frame a timetable to dispose of cases as quickly as possible, former Chief Justice of England and Wales Harry Woolf said on Saturday.

Woolf was speaking at a seminar on reforms in civil justice organised as part of the celebrations of the High Court to mark completion of 150 years.

Addressing a gathering of senior judges and lawyers, he said lawyers need to help judges arrive at the truth, rather than prolonging litigation. He also stressed the need to resolve disputes through mediation rather than adversarial litigation.

Emphasising the shared legal history of India and England, Woolf said, What stands out is that our judges are mostly very independent. This quality is what makes our judicial systems what they are today.

Former director of the National Judicial Academy N R Madhava Menon also spoke at the event, suggesting a number of reforms to enhance the competence of judges. He said, In many ways, India cannot be compared to the UK or other European countries. This is a country of more than 1.2 billion people and is rich in diversity...The number of cases disposed of by an average Indian judge is perhaps the highest in the world.

However, Menon also noted that the average life of a civil case in India is 15 years and said the aim should be to bring it down to three years by 2020.

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