Ensure justice for all: President Patil

Budding legal eagle: President Pratibha Patil presents 11 medals to Gautam Bhatia at the 19th annual convocation of the National Law School of India University at the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore on Sunday. dh Photo

Delivering the 19th convocation address of the National Law School of India University at the Vidhana Soudha, she said unless everyone had access to justice, “we cannot say all can seek justice for their grievances”.

The President said while disputes were inevitable, it need not be followed by litigation, since dispute resolution can be done in many ways.

“As lawyers, you should engage yourselves in securing justice for your clients, or as judges, in finding justice for litigants to make your lives meaningful for others,” she said.

Law schools need to incorporate international law in their curriculum as India still lacks the knowledge of legal systems of other countries, the President said. Law courses must take international and comparative perspective in the syllabi, along with necessary understanding of domestic law. “Expertise in international law and knowledge about legal services in other countries is still lacking in our country.”

She also asked the law faculty to keep pace with time, especially in the context of globalisation.

Patil, who concluded her three-day visit to Bangalore, said, “Globalisation has thrown up many challenges and the legal profession has to cater to the increasing demands for skilled professionals.”

The legal systems must be able to cope with the impact of the 21st Century in the field of IT, biotechnology, medicine and intellectual property, said the President.

Recalling her years at the government law college in Mumbai in the 60s, Patil told the graduating students that though much had changed in the past five decades, the principles and values of the legal profession remained the same, like the North Star in the sky, which was at the same spot year after year.

Governor H R Bhardwaj and University Chancellor and Supreme Court judge Justice Altamas Kabir were present.

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