Justice DY Chandrachud
Justice DY Chandrachud 
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Incorporate feminist thinking in the way you deal with law: Justice DY Chandrachud to law graduates

Shagun Suryam

Justice DY Chandrachud on Saturday advised fresh law graduates to incorporate feminist thinking in the way they deal with the law.

The Supreme Court judge was speaking at the ninth convocation of the National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) when he noted that all the gold medals that were bagged by female students were an indicator of the times that we live in and the times to come.

"I think it is now time for us to introspect and reflect on how we create conditions where this potential which they express in terms of the medals which they have translates into real time change in our society," he said.

Justice DY Chandrachud

The judge also shared that he was struck by the fact that almost all the awards were instituted by men, and that was an indicator of the "times which were" of a male dominated, hugely patriarchal profession and society.

"I am sure that by the time several convocations later, we will have the likes of Isha and Tansee and Nidhi instituting medals in honour of those who have mentored them. I do believe we have crossed the first bride of opening up access to education."

However, he highlighted that the real challenge of our times would be to convert the potential exhibited by young women into a transformation in Indian society.

Justice Chandrachud also expressed his hopes from the students, urging them to refrain from perpetuating formalistic approaches to law.

"Instead, strive to adopt a legal approach that puts at its centre the live of people who struggle everyday to make ends meet. That is the true redemption of justice," he advised.

The judge also recognised that the legal profession could seem daunting and challenging for women in the judiciary. However, he stressed that the barriers were not high in front of their towering dedication.

Justice Chandrachud acknowledged that unfortunate reality of the legal profession of many aspiring and deserving professionals staying away from litigation as a result of the low pay that the profession offers.

He also said that he was aware that the legal field, especially litigation, could be daunting for those who did not belong to the established cliques.

Speaking to the young lawyers in this regard, he implored them to strive for making the legal profession more inclusive and accessible, since that was one way to to further the goal of justice.

"There is this huge talent in the country which is beckoning for the democratisation of the legal profession. For breaking down its feudal structures. For providing access to the unconnected."

The judge went on to explain that law is a means to forge a new future based on the ideals enshrined in our Constitution.

He opined that the law could be used as an instrument of good or of evil, and the difference would be in those who wield, handle, interpret it and engage with it.

"It is incumbent upon you to leave the law, a little better than you found it," he therefore, advised.

[Read our live-coverage of the speech below]

[Find a copy of the speech here]

Speech.pdf
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