[Answered] Judicial decisions must make sense to those whose lives and affairs are affected by the outcome of the case. Highlight the pressing need for simplicity and meaningfulness in court judgments.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain why there is need for simplicity and meaningfulness in court judgments.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The Judiciary is the third organ of the government. It has the responsibility to apply the laws to specific cases and settle all disputes. The real ‘meaning of law’ is what the judges decide during the course of giving their judgements in various cases. As the old saying goes Justice delayed is justice denied. But justice misread also affects the judgement.

Need for simplicity and meaningfulness in court judgments:

  • It is important to not only take justice to the people, but also to make it understandable to litigating parties in a language they knew.
  • Legal experts stress that the essence of a verdict should not get lost in the language. A verdict becomes unclear if the wording is not sharp. And that can lead to justice being derailed.
  • The judgments are written for aggrieved parties, lawyers, appellate courts, law students and for society at large. That’s the primary reason why it should be written in an understandable language.
  • The Supreme Court, too, said that “appropriate care” should be taken to not load a verdict with all legal knowledge on a subject. Citing too many judgments in a verdict could lead to confusion rather than clarity.
  • Judgments of the High Courts and the Supreme Court also serve as a reference to guide future Benches. If it is not understandable then it will be subject to different interpretations.
  • The common man coming to courts as litigants would always need a lawyer to understand the meaning of judgments in the similar cases.

Way forward:

  • A system could be evolved whereby certified translated copies of judgements are made available by the high courts in local or regional languages. Judges should be trained in constructing sentences in simple words and how to keep the essence of judgments intact. A judgment should not be verbose.
  • There is need to adopt short words and avoid long sentences. Minimise jargon and technical terms and avoid double or triple negatives.
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