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Delegation of US jurists meets Indian judges, lawyers and state ministers in 5 cities

Inside JGU

October 2023

Delegation of US jurists meets Indian judges, lawyers and state ministers in 5 cities

A high-level delegation of 10 American judges, jurists and law experts, led by JGU’s Founding Vice Chancellor Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, embarked on a five-city tour to understand the legal framework and jurisprudence across India.

The week-long visit across New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kochi included discussions at renowned universities and law schools, meetings with senior judges and Chief Justices of High Courts, law and industry ministers in state capitals, university heads, practicing advocates and corporate lawyers from leading organisations. While participating in legal deliberations and colloquiums, the delegation got a first-hand overview of the practice of law in India and a deep understanding of the challenges and changes that are impacting it.

During the visit, the distinguished US judges discussed various subjects which influence the practice of law in the modern age including the impact of technology such as artificial intelligence, protecting the rule of law and promoting access to justice amongst other key events.

The U.S. delegation included: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Michael Wilson, Former Judge, Supreme Court of Hawai’i; Hon’ble Ms. Justice Sabrina S. McKenna, Judge, Supreme Court of Hawai’i; Hon’ble Mr. Justice Todd W. Eddins, Judge, Supreme Court of Hawai’i; Hon’ble Ms. Justice Ann L. Aiken, Senior Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon; Hon’ble Mr. Justice Andre Birotte Jr., Judge, U.S. District Court, Central District of California; Hon’ble Ms. Justice Sara L. Ellis, Judge U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; Hon’ble Ms. Justice Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge, New York State Court of Appeals; Hon’ble Mr. Justice Douglas L. Tookey, Judge Oregon Court of Appeals; Hon’ble Ms. Justice Josephine L. Staton, Judge, U.S. District Court, Central District of California; and Prof. Camille Nelson, Dean, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i.

The visit began with a judicial symposium on the theme ‘The Role of Judiciary in Sustaining Rule of Law and Democracy’ held at JGU.

During the Mumbai tour, the leading Indian law firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas hosted the delegation. Here, the esteemed delegates and lawyers as well as other multinational corporations engaged in a round of intensive discussions about the importance of the rule of law for corporations, and the judiciary’s impact on the Indian and American jurisprudence. These discussions were held in the presence of former Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Mr. Justice U.U. Lalit, and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Swantanter Kumar, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, during which they highlighted the milestones of the Indian judiciary.

In Mumbai, the delegation also met Hon’ble Mr. Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, Chief Justice, Bombay High Court, along with 35 High Court Judges. The delegates during their visit to the Bombay High Court were felicitated by the Advocates’ Association of Western India and the Bombay Bar Association.

At the event in Chennai, Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar outlined the foundational objectives of the visit and said, “India and the US share certain values which are further highlighted by this high-level visit of judges from the United States. Both countries are democracies where the rule of law cannot be taken for granted, where we are committed to strengthening the rule of law and talking truth to power.”

In Chennai, the delegation was part of the India-US Law and Justice Forum, hosted at the International Law Centre of the premier Indian law firm Surana and Surana International Attorneys, on the theme ‘Role of Judiciary in Protecting the Rule of Law and Promoting Access to Justice’. The forum was inaugurated by Mr. S. Regupathy, Hon’ble Minister of Law, Government of Tamil Nadu. The Hon’ble Minister highlighted that Tamil Nadu has worked to provide equal opportunities irrespective of the background of any individual and is the first Indian state to give the right to women as coparceners in property, thereby promoting inclusive growth. This event also saw participation by Mr. Justice Swantanter Kumar, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India.

Later an interactive session was held at the Madras High Court Bar Association with 100 advocates under Ms. Justice R.N. Manjula. This was followed with a meeting with the Chief Justice Mr. Justice Sanjay Vijaykumar Gangapurwala and 25 Judges from the Madras High Court. The Chennai visit concluded with a high-level meeting with Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Minister for Information Technology and Digital Services, Government of Tamil Nadu.

In Bengaluru, a similar discussion was held in association with R.V. University where the Chief Guest, Mr. Justice R.V. Raveendran, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India welcomed the delegation. Later the Advocates Association of Bengaluru hosted a session with the Chief Guest Mr. Justice Krishna S. Dixit, which was attended by over 600 advocates. The visit concluded with a meeting with Mr. Justice Prasanna B. Varale, Chief Justice, Karnataka High Court, and 8 other sitting High Court Judges.

The visit to Kochi began with an interaction with Mr. Justice A. K. Jayasankaran Nambiar, Judge, Kerala High Court, and an interactive session with the judges of the Kerala High Court and the new batch of judicial trainees, along with other judges of the High Court. The visit culminated with a meeting with Mr. P. Rajeev, Minister for Industries, Law and Coir, Government of Kerala.

The visit of the US judges and jurists to India also witnessed a special reception hosted by the India Committee of the American Bar Association, led by Ms. Pratibha Jain, Chair, ABA India Committee, Head of Strategy & Group General Counsel, Everstone Group, and Mr. Ajay Bahl, Co-founder & Managing Partner, AZB & Partners.

The concluding event of their visit culminated in a dinner hosted by the benefactor and Founding Chancellor of JGU, Mr. Naveen Jindal, and Mrs. Shallu Jindal which was attended by lawyers, jurists, parliamentarians, academics, and other distinguished thought leaders.