12th Mega HR Konclave 2021 KIIT Law School Conducts Panel Discussion & Workshop

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KIIT Law School (KLS) conducted a Panel Discussion on the Theme – Physical and Virtual Legal Processes – The New Combination for Legal Profession and Practice as a part of the 12th Mega HR Konclave 2021. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan B Lokur, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and Judge, Supreme Court of Fiji chaired the Panel Discussion, which was graced by Shri R Venkataramani, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; Prof. (Dr.) Manoj Kumar Sinha, Director, Indian Law Institute, New Delhi; and Dr. Jacob P Alex, Advocate, Kerala High Court. Prof.(Dr.) Bhabani Prasad Panda, Director, KLS moderated the session.

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Lokur highlighted the relevance of the theme in the present circumstances of the justice administration system in India, which has severely been affected by the pandemic. He upheld the need to cater to the needs and deprivations suffered by litigants at the district and rural areas, in comparison to the urban areas of the country which had more technological accessibility and infrastructure. He stated that adaptability to the new circumstances was a necessity, but the advantages of technology must reach millions of litigants at the district level also.

Prof. (Dr.) Sinha highlighted the problems faced by a large number of students in far flung areas of the country who were affected by the lack of proper technological and internet infrastructure and facilities. He praised the educational institutions for  having adapted to the new situation and are trying to normalise the circumstances by sending study materials, conducting online classes and examinations. However, the approach needed has to be ‘bottom-up’, considering the needs of students from areas with weak or non-existent internet technology and feasibility, he insisted.

Shri Venkatramani highlighted the need to move away from mere use of physical space and physical systems of delivery of justice. He further stated that  legal and professional education must seize the challenge and draw fundamental changes, calibrate the technology delivery mechanism looking  at the justice needs of different parts and sections of our country, and, at the same time not become fully dependent on technology as the exclusive mode of justice delivery.

Dr. Alex, while referring to the 103rd Parliamentary Standing Committee Interim Report On Functioning of Virtual Courts, accepted that technology definitely helped in tiding over the crisis posed to the legal profession and academia, but also stated that the human element in the “Art of Advocacy” cannot be substituted by the present technological tools.

While summing up the deliberations, Prof. (Dr.) Panda added his own insight to the topic under discussion and reflected that the digital shift has occurred in almost every aspect of our lives, from shopping to meetings and social gatherings. Prof. Panda raised some pertinent points for consideration, like that of data security and privacy, adoption of technological innovation by the legal industry, and how technology can be utilized to enhance access to justice.The Panel resolved to advocate for better technology infrastructural implementation for enhanced justice delivery and administration in India, while also emphasizing the benefits of adopting technological innovation in the legal profession and education system.

Prof. Sudipta De Sarkar, Coordinator, KLS Panel and Workshop for the Konclave also spoke on the occasion. The School also conducted Department Level Workshops across its 10 Departments, moderated and coordinated by the Heads of the Department and other faculty members and student volunteers. The themes for the Workshops encompassed varied areas and interests, and the entire event witnessed overwhelming participation from students and faculties.

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