Despite the Coronavirus affecting the world at large, people have been working hard to stop the spread of the virus worldwide. Lockdowns were initiated, the borders sealed, and the cities and towns became secluded from one another. It was a proactive approach to the spread of the pandemic. Regardless of any economic arena left unaffected by the wrath of the pandemic, the legal system has been no exception to the pandemic. The legal framework of all nations has been affected largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, a proactive approach was important for insulating the legal system from a possible breakdown. It required the lawyers to comprehend the situation from a different perspective.
Impact on the legal system
The courts across the nation are facing workforce rationalization, non-performance of contracts, problems in chain supplies, and closure of several businesses. Numerous projects are called off. There is a delay in implementation and various other problems faced by business owners across the nation. Add it to the huge pile-up of pending cases in the different courts, loss of livelihood, and breakdown in commercial activities.
Rest assured it would further enhance the pendency of cases in the courts. However, the alternative dispute settlement mechanisms inclusive of arbitration, mediation, and conciliation would be the best mode for the lawyers to settle the disputes arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be a great move to settle disputes related to employment, tenancy, and deferring the loans and chargeable interests.
However, these alternative methods should have some finality to the decided cases. An appeal should be made to the higher courts only in exceptional cases. Setting up of special benches and courts across the nation should be only for handling cases arising out of COVID-19 breakout. These should also handle commercial and other related cases.
Need to be computer savvy
The lawyer requires becoming computer savvy. Chances are higher about rules set up to enable the running of pending cases through video conferencing. The district courts would also be required to handle a few exceptional or urgent cases using video conferencing. As a result, the lawyers would be required to adopt several new technologies inclusive of quick internet services, video software, laptops, Skype, and more for their matters to be taken up in the time of the pandemic.
The legal system is in for a drastic change due to the pandemic striking the legal fraternity across the world. However, with proactive steps taken, the legal system could be saved from the possible breakdown.
- What Changes in Procedural Aspects would Help the Legal System during Covid-19
COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the legal arena. It has resulted in the need for all lawyers to become computer and tech-savvy. Even the governments should look forward to providing adequate opportunities to the lawyers in different forms in the judicial arena.
The Executive and Judiciary should consider a few important aspects along with the Law Commission. It would be imperative that serious consideration should be given to transforming the rule of law for proper running and functioning of the legal system during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would help with the disposal of numerous pending cases in the nation.
You may wonder about the essential procedural aspects to be changed within the legal system. Let us delve into the vital aspects required for facilitating the process.
Need for a larger allocation of outlay to upgrade the technology. It would help you reduce the pendency of the cases largely. There is an imminent need for overhauling the legal system. It would help you equip the legal fraternity with information and knowledge of handling the technology. It would help you make the most of the visual platforms for arguments, filing cases, presenting evidence, and authentication of documents. It would also be inclusive of acceptance of e-signatures, e-authentication, etc. It would require making changes in the Civil and Criminal Procedure Acts.
Rest assured that the litigant would become an active participant in the court proceedings through virtual media. He would get intimation of the hearing on time without the need to be present for daily rulings in the court. It would be important that digital platforms should not be hacked. It should be free from cyber threats or manipulations by any vested interests. It should be protected by a strong cybersecurity system.
When it comes to using technology, rest assured it is not easily available. It would require considerable work in integrating and linking systems, harmonizing procedures, data, and creating user-friendly digital structures.
Despite the crisis of COVID-19, bringing the legal system on the verge of a breakdown, you should consider looking for various opportunities to make the most of the technology in the legal system. Presently, the legal system, right from the Apex Court to the grass root levels, you could see technology making a significant impact on the legal system. The limited experiment has started to prove beneficial for eliminating the pendency of cases largely. However, it is still a long way to make it a successful venture.
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