Concept of rule of law dependent on independent judiciary: Justice Mir

On 3rd day of Induction Training Programme for the newly appointed Munsiffs here, Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir delivered a lecture on Importance of Judicial Ethics, Integrity and Discipline.

Justice Mir emphasized that the judges are vested with duties of great responsibility, holding offices of public trust. “The concept of rule of law is dependent on an independent, fair and competent judiciary,” he said. 

“A Judge is expected to be fair and impartial in his judgment. It is an age-old adage, oft-quoted in legal circles that “Justice is not only to be done but must be seen to have been done”. The Judge must be even-handed. His approach must be consistent, irrespective of the fact as to who is before him in the dock. He is to sit with open mind. This also means that he cannot act on pre-conceived notions. He may have his own independent views and approach to a given subject. But, in his judgment there can be no room for personal idiosyncrasies.”

“He is in the judgment seat in a fiduciary character. He has to apply law as has been established and evolved. He can give a definite direction to the law by adding his views to the debate on a particular issue, keeping himself within the four corners of judicial propriety. His personal whims or caprice can have no role to play in the discharge of his official duties. It is his duty to apply the law as it exists rather than develop the law anew every time a new person appears before him,” Justice Mir urged the new judges.

Judges cannot ignore ethics and ethos while discharging their duties because the trust and confidence of the people reposed in the judiciary is our undaunted strength.

The participant Judicial officers interacted with the Judge and sought many clarifications on Judicial Ethics which were responded by Justice Mir by giving practical examples as to how the Judicial officer will observe the canons of Judicial Ethics in and outside the Court. The function concluded with the vote of thanks by Abdul Rashid Malik, Director, J&K State Judicial Academy as he summed up the crux of the proceedings.

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