Presentation on theme: "JUDGMENT WRITING : EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION"— Presentation transcript:
1 JUDGMENT WRITING : EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION ________________JUSTICE V.V.S.RAO
2 PRIVILEGED PROCEEDINGS Judicial proceedings are privileged;Judicial function is not a cause of action for defamation;The conduct of a Judge cannot be questioned by Executive;Articles 121 and 211 of Constitution; andJudicial review of legislative or administrative action is a privilege.
3 DEFINITION OF JUDGMENT-I Official and authentic decision of Court of Justice upon rights and claims of parties to an action litigated and submitted to its determination and reasons therefor.Determination or sentence of the law pronounced by a competent Judge or Court as a result of a proceeding instituted in such Court.
4 DEFINITION OF JUDGMENT-II Code of Civil Procedure, 1908Section 2(9): The statement given by a Judge on the grounds of a decree or order.Section 33: Court after the case has been heard shall pronounce Judgment and on such Judgment a decree shall follow.Order XX contains Rules for preparation of Judgments and decrees and their pronouncement
5 DEFINITION OF JUDGMENT-III Criminal LawCode of Criminal Procedure Code does not define the term ‘Judgment’.Section 235 CrPC mandates the Judge to give a Judgment after hearing arguments.Chapter XXVII (Ss.353 to 365) contain the format, method and manner of preparing and delivering a Judgment.Section 19 IPC: Judge as to mean, ‘every person who is empowered by law to give, in any legal proceeding, civil or criminal, a definitive Judgment or a Judgment which, if not appealed against, would be definitive.
6 ORDER XX RULE 4(2) CPC Judgment shall contain 1. Concise statement of the case2. Points for consideration3. Decision on the points4. Reasons for the decisions
7 ORDER XLI RULE 31 Appellate Judgment shall state (a) points for determination;(b) decision thereon;(c) reasons for the decision; &(d) relief
8 TIME SCHEDULEOrder XX requires trial/appellate Judges to pronounce Judgment within thirty days after completion of arguments.Adhere to time schedule, before memory starts fading, ensures grip over the subject matter.The Judge who delivers Judgments without delay is always kept in high esteem by the litigants and lawyers.
9 TRINITY OF GOOD JUDGMENT 1. BREVITY2. SIMPLICITY3. CLARITY
10 BREVITY It means concise and exact use of words in writing. Judgment should be brief while not ignoring core issues as well as collateral issues.Quality, however, cannot be sacrificed for quantity.Repetition of same point, evidence and pleadings makes reading tortuous.
11 SIMPLICITYA judgment is written mainly for the parties to litigation. Therefore, it should be understandable by them.Simplicity in use of language in explaining legal principles makes an opinion forceful.A judgment becomes vague if it contains long complex sentences and round about approach to the problem.
12 CLARITYClarity of a judgment can be achieved by thorough reading of facts and law.Division of judgment under different headings helps.Avoiding unnecessary quotations from the pleadings and law enhances clarity.
13 ‘CUT OUT CACKLE AND COME TO POINT’ Judicial verbosity is impossible to control.Language be simple and understandable by ordinary person.If length is inevitable, begin with summary of one paragraph to give thrust of decision.
14 … … BE CLEAR AND PRECISERemember “more words there are, the more words are there about which doubts might be entertained”.Lord Denning used to say, “old words are best of all”.
15 SOME TIPS IN ACHIEVING TRINITY (i) avoid use of cliches and rhetoric(ii) be precise and to the point(iii) use active voice(iv) be particular than vague(v) use simple and direct prose, and(vi) try to be interesting.
16 WHAT’S GOOD JUDGMENT? Thinking mind is twofold (i) Judicial Mind which analyses, compares and chooses.(ii) Creative Mind which foresees and generates ideas.
17 Good judgment is a test of trained mind When judicial mind and creative mind work together, we have a good judgmentJudgment keeps imagination on the track and imagination enlighten judgmentJudicial effort and creative effort call for analysis and synthesis
18 Judicial mind breaks down facts, weighs them, compares them and reject some, keeps others to form a conclusion.A creative mind also does the same but it results in an idea and not a verdict.
19 There are two kinds of judgments. (i) Critical JudgmentThis calls for knowledge(ii) Constructive JudgmentThis calls for imagination
20 BALANCE TO BE MAINTAINED Too much of analysis and synthesis without imagination results in chocked opinion.Critical and constructive judgments, therefore, must be balanced in forming opinions.Imagination sometimes helps to analyse probabilities of the case.
21 ARCHITECTURE AND MASONRY A Judge should be a legal architect and not a mason, laying brick after brick
22 DISCIPLINE OF LAW-IFollow fair procedure which includes principles of natural justice.1. Audi alteram partem (no man shall be condemned unheard);2. Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa no one can be a judge in his own cause); and3. Nemo protest esse simul actor et judex (no one can be at once judge and suitor).
23 DISCIPLINE OF LAW-II1. Justice according to Law: “Judicial power is exercised to give effect to Will of Legislature not to give effect to Will of the Judge”. If law is arbitrary, unreasonable, irrational or capricious different considerations would emerge.2. Subconscious element in Judicial process –Precedent moulds decisionJudicial mind never resists gravitational pull of binding precedent
24 GOOD JUDGMENT-I SOME DOs Adhere to statutory requirementsDiscuss pleadings and evidence adopting précis methodConsider all issues in group or separately and record conclusions giving reasonsSupport your reasons by statute/precedent lawUse simple sentences to convey the reasonsBefore pronouncing, read and re-read the final copyEmploy cohesive, comprehensive and logical prose while writing Judgment
25 GOOD JUDGMENT-II SOME DON’Ts Avoid verbatim, extracts from pleadings& evidenceDo not ignore grammar of language or else sentences convey different meaningBe careful in using negative wordsDo not use rhetoric or hyperbola to emphasize a pointDo not exaggerateDo not take a discussion beyond the issue for considerationDo not write lengthy Judgments
26 ENSURING GOOD JUDGMENT-I TAKE ACTIVE ROLE DURING PRE TRIAL ANDTRIAL STAGEPRE TRIAL STAGEOn the day the trial commences or before it, just browse through the pleadings and documents filed.While doing so, note points or case law or relevant statutory provisionsDuring the trial, be attentiveRecord evidence yourselfAfter recording evidence, read the typed copy of deposition at least cursorily
27 ENSURING GOOD JUDGMENT-II ARGUMENT STAGETake down notes when the rival counsel put forth their argumentsIf any decisions are cited, go through them carefully during the argument stage itselfTo generate debate on a legal point, ask questions when you sit down for writing Judgment
28 ENSURING GOOD JUDGMENT-III WHEN YOU SIT DOWN FOR WRITING JUDGMENTBefore actually starting writing or dictating, read entire record onceIt certainly improves quality of Judgment and reduces the time taken for dictating the JudgmentAfter draft Judgment is prepared, correct it constantly referring to the recordBefore pronouncing Judgment in open Court, read once again to see whether the findings of all issues are recorded correctlyDo not pronounce any Judgment in great haste