Lack of life experience: In India Civil Judges and Judicial Magistrate are too young: Vidhi Report

Written by Yashika Varshney

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Lack of life experience: In India Civil Judges and Judicial Magistrate are too young: Vidhi Report

This was reported by Vidhi Centre for legal policy and there is a debate on whether the India wants young candidates to get appointed as judicial magistrate.

A report released by think-tank Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy has found, in India Civil judges and judicial magistrates are too young and in respect to that they have lack of (significant)  life experience.

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The tittle of the report is, ‘Schooling the Judges: The selection and training of civil judges and judicial magistrates’ it was released in late last month with a debate on whether the country wants young candidates being appointed to this “crucial office”.

Further, “Not only are such candidates likely to have little to no experience at the bar, they are also unlikely to have significant life experiences having lived a sheltered experience with their parents or on a university campus.”

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In comparison of India, they cited the report with an average age of new judges in the UK. They are only 1 per cent of the approximately 15,000 magistrates were found to be less than 30 years of age, while in India,  the average age was found to be 26-27 years in all states except Kerala, where it is 33 years.

In India law graduates, can apply for the post of the civil judge and judicial magistrate right after completing their graduation without any experience of legal practice.

In case All India Judges and associations and others v. Union of India, in this case they used to have a three-year prior legal practice requirement to apply for the post of civil judges and magistrates. However, this was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2002.

The court had then observed that the “best talent” was not being attracted by judicial services and that a “bright young law graduate” does not find judicial service “attractive enough” after three years of practice.

They suggested some measure for the loopholes found the current system of training being imparted in the judicial academies.

  • they need to function and develop independently if they are to “mature into respectable institutions of learning”,
  • need to evaluate the functioning of the judicial academies,
  • Candidates at the academies should also be evaluated on the basis of their performance as well as their clinical or practical training, before they are allowed to hold court.

Former judge Bharat Chugh said,” There is a need for a certain amount of fresh blood in the system. People who have that idealism that’s needed to change things and freshness of perspective. People who aren’t so set in their ways that they can’t innovate. After all, sometimes it takes an outsider to come in and look at things in a different light and help us see things better.


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