Interactive session with students

Hon'ble Mr Justice B.J. Odoki, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Uganda responds to a query put forth by a CMS student in the interactive session with the student while Hon'ble Mr Justice Omar O. Makungu, Chief Justice, High Court, Zanzibar looks on.
CMS students participate in the interaction session with the Hon'ble Chief Justice and Judges

The Plenary Session in evening was followed by an exhilarating interactive session of the learned participants with children, who were keen to ask many questions. The participating Chief Justices and Judges gladly replied to various questions which ranged from human rights to ecology to corruption. The session was chaired by Prof. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, President and Chief Operating Officer, CMS.

One of the students asked the learned judges if they were ever pressurized by their governments to give judgements that were incorrect. In response, Hon'ble Mr Justice K.C. Sood, Former Judge, Himachal Pradesh High Court of India said that in India, government has never pressurized the judges to pronounce incorrect judgments, however, one of the judges from Africa said that there have been instances where the government in African countries has pressurized the judges to give judgments that were morally and judicially incorrect.

To a question about how the judges remain unbiased and principled when their judgments can cause confusion and riots, the learned judge explained that in such a situation, a judge follows the law, the constitution and the principle of equality. Further, if the people feel that the court's judgment is not just, the case can be taken to a higher court. Dr Jagdish Gandhi, Founder Manager, CMS cited the example of Babri Masjid case, where there were tensions all over the country with apprehension of riots just before the judgment was to be pronounced by the High Court, but the learned judges gave a wise decision keeping in mind the principle of equality and averted the riots.

A Student further put up a question about how the International law can be implemented. To the student's query, Judges opined that we need a World Parliament and mutual understanding between nations to implement and enforce International Law. There should be a meeting of the world leaders. A total of 193 countries are now members of the United Nations. Martin Luther King Jr had said, 'We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools'. To ensure respect for international law, we must make it sovereign.

Another student asked the learned judges that when nearly the whole world is influenced by corruption, including the governments then how it can be ensured that International Law will not be corrupt. To the student's query, judges opined that many Muslim countries have very strict laws on corruption. However, to curb corruption, children should be taught to be law abiding from the beginning and education is the best answer. Educated people should come up with a system that will discourage others from getting corrupt.

To a query raised by a student on how the judges prevent themselves from passing judgments in favour of people who are known or are a part of their family, the judges opined that in such a case, it is the duty of the judge to act sensibly keeping the ethical values in mind and abstain himself or herself from the bench deciding the case.

A student asked why were the women all over the world treated as livestock whose main work is only to produce children. The judges responded by saying that there are legal provisions in most of the countries which accord equal status to both men and women. It is important for women to stand up and assert their own rights. Further the attitude of people should be changed towards women. The learned judge from Turkey remarked that in his country, education sector strictly follows equality between girls and boys.

Dr Jagdish Gandhi, Convenor of the conference, in his concluding remarks said that basic principles of law, order and justice should be taught to children since childhood to grow into good and law abiding adults. Value education, if provided to all, will leave no one as corrupt. Dr Gandhi further remarked that at present there is no such court which can enforce international law. This is why World Government, World Parliament and World Court of Justice are required to be established. This conference is being organized for this sole purpose because the Judiciary of the world can help in formation of this highly desired new world order.

The session concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Prof Geeta Gandhi Kingdon.