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1 JUDGMENT WRITING : EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION ________________ JUSTICE V.V.S.RAO.

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Presentation on theme: "1 JUDGMENT WRITING : EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION ________________ JUSTICE V.V.S.RAO."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 JUDGMENT WRITING : EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION ________________ JUSTICE V.V.S.RAO

2 2 PRIVILEGED PROCEEDINGS 1.Judicial proceedings are privileged; 2.Judicial function is not a cause of action for defamation; 3.The conduct of a Judge cannot be questioned by Executive; 4.Articles 121 and 211 of Constitution; and 5.Judicial review of legislative or administrative action is a privilege.

3 3 DEFINITION OF JUDGMENT-I 1.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. 2.Determination or sentence of the law pronounced by a competent Judge or Court as a result of a proceeding instituted in such Court.

4 4 DEFINITION OF JUDGMENT-II  Code of Civil Procedure, 1908  Section 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 5 DEFINITION OF JUDGMENT-III  Criminal Law  Code of Criminal Procedure Code does not define the term ‘Judgment  Code 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 6 ORDER XX RULE 4(2) CPC Judgment shall contain 1. Concise statement of the case 2. Points for consideration 3. Decision on the points 4. Reasons for the decisions

7 7 ORDER XLI RULE 31 Appellate Judgment shall state (a) points for determination; (b) decision thereon; (c) reasons for the decision; & (d) relief

8 8 TIME SCHEDULE  Order 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 9 TRINITY OF GOOD JUDGMENT 1. BREVITY 2. SIMPLICITY 3. CLARITY

10 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 11 SIMPLICITY  A 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 12 CLARITY  Clarity 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 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 14 … … BE CLEAR AND PRECISE  Remember “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 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 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 17  Good judgment is a test of trained mind  When judicial mind and creative mind work together, we have a good judgment  Judgment keeps imagination on the track and imagination enlighten judgment  Judicial effort and creative effort call for analysis and synthesis

18 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 19  There are two kinds of judgments.  (i) Critical Judgment This calls for knowledge  (ii) Constructive Judgment This calls for imagination

20 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 21 ARCHITECTURE AND MASONRY  A Judge should be a legal architect and not a mason, laying brick after brick

22 22 DISCIPLINE OF LAW-I Follow 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); and 3. Nemo protest esse simul actor et judex (no one can be at once judge and suitor).

23 23 DISCIPLINE OF LAW-II 1. 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 decision  Judicial mind never resists gravitational pull of binding precedent

24 24 GOOD JUDGMENT-I SOME DOs  Adhere to statutory requirements  Discuss pleadings and evidence adopting précis method  Consider all issues in group or separately and record conclusions giving reasons  Support your reasons by statute/precedent law  Use simple sentences to convey the reasons  Before pronouncing, read and re-read the final copy  Employ cohesive, comprehensive and logical prose while writing Judgment

25 25 GOOD JUDGMENT-II SOME DON’Ts  Avoid verbatim, extracts from pleadings& evidence  Do not ignore grammar of language or else sentences convey different meaning  Be careful in using negative words  Do not use rhetoric or hyperbola to emphasize a point  Do not exaggerate  Do not take a discussion beyond the issue for consideration  Do not write lengthy Judgments

26 26 ENSURING GOOD JUDGMENT-I TAKE ACTIVE ROLE DURING PRE TRIAL AND TRIAL STAGE  PRE TRIAL STAGE  On 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 provisions  During the trial, be attentive  Record evidence yourself  After recording evidence, read the typed copy of deposition at least cursorily

27 27 ENSURING GOOD JUDGMENT-II ARGUMENT STAGE  Take down notes when the rival counsel put forth their arguments  If any decisions are cited, go through them carefully during the argument stage itself  To generate debate on a legal point, ask questions when you sit down for writing Judgment

28 28 ENSURING GOOD JUDGMENT-III  WHEN YOU SIT DOWN FOR WRITING JUDGMENT  Before actually starting writing or dictating, read entire record once  It certainly improves quality of Judgment and reduces the time taken for dictating the Judgment  After draft Judgment is prepared, correct it constantly referring to the record  Before pronouncing Judgment in open Court, read once again to see whether the findings of all issues are recorded correctly  Do not pronounce any Judgment in great haste

29 29 THANK YOU ALL


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