Don't confuse readers: Pinnacle Court of India issues judgement on writing judgements

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India's apex court has ruled that judgements mustn't confuse readers by using complex language because it “speaks to the current and to the longer term.”

Emphasing that every judgment could be a wall up the consolidation of the elemental precepts on which a legal order relies, Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud said they're instrumental “in fostering the rule of law and in curbing rule by the law.”

From providing headings to a table of contents for long judgements, the format laid down by the highest court is named the “Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion” (IRAC) structure.

While rules connote the lawyers’ submissions on the pertinent problems, issues confer with the question of law that the court is deciding.

According to the bench, ''The purpose of judicial writing isn't to confuse or confound the reader behind the veneer of complex language.''

''The judge must write to produce an easy-to-understand analysis of the problems of law and fact, which arise for decision...While a judgment is read by those in addition who have training within the law, they are doing not represent the whole universe of discourse,'' it added.

“If the meaning of the word is lost in language, the flexibility of the adjudicator to retain the trust of the reader is severely eroded... Whether or not the author of a judgment envisions it, the written product remains for the longer term, representing another incremental step in societal dialogue,” said Justice Chandrachud.

“Judgment writing may be a layered exercise. In one layer, a judgment addresses the concerns and arguments of parties to a forensic contest. In another layer, a judgment addresses stakeholders beyond the conflict. It speaks to those in society who are impacted by the discourse. within the layered formulation of study, a judgment speaks to this and to the long run.”

“Courts are the maximum amount engaged within the slow yet not so silent process of bringing a few social transformation. How good or deficient they're therein quest is tested by the standard of the explanations the maximum amount as by the way during which the judicial process is structured,” it said.

“Equally significant is that the indisputable fact that a judgment speaks to this and to the longer term. Judicial outcomes taken singularly or together have an impression upon human lives. Hence, a judgment is amenable to wider critique and scrutiny, going beyond the immediate contest in a very courtroom. Citizens, researchers and journalists continuously evaluate the work of courts as public institutions committed to governance under law,” added the bench.