Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on Friday urged lawyers to uphold the Constitution, stating that the actions of lawyers in the present will have a lasting impact on the society in the future. .He further said that legal profession is not about self or individual service, but it is a mode of public service to cater to the needs of the people and, therefore, lawyers must play a transformative role by meaningfully engaging with the society at large."It is my hope that all lawyers will utilise their positions to benefit society, aid those in need, defend their client’s interests, and most importantly – uphold the Constitution of India, as the actions of lawyers in the present will continue to impact our society in the future," he said.Justice Kaul was speaking at the first annual lecture series organised by Gauhati High Court Itanagar Permanent Bench Bar Association (GHCIPBBA) in association with Tewari & Associates at WAII International, Itanagar. The event was presided over by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.In his address, Justice Kaul said lawyers are the first individuals to be exposed to public grievances.The nature of the legal profession in India is very wide due to the diverse range of problems across different States and the general lack of awareness about individual rights and the legal recourse available, he added..He also batted for lawyers to advise clients to adopt alternate dispute resolution mechanism (ADR) such as mediation, negotiation, conciliation, and arbitration since litigation is a time consuming and expensive affair. He also highlighted another big advantage of mediation - that it helps preserve relationships. "In today’s fragmented world, perhaps the most important advantage is that this allows the parties to preserve their commercial and personal relationships as they were prior to the dispute," he stated..Specifically on mediation as an ADR method, Justice Kaul opined that it is cheaper, quicker, and far more litigant-friendly than traditional litigation proceedings and it is particularly effective in commercial and family disputes. "I believe that commercial disputes and family disputes are particularly receptive to such an approach and accordingly, to mediation. Mediation ensures that parties get to the table and are ready to find efficient solutions which result in a much quicker resolution and drastically reduce costs. Time is generally of the essence in both these kinds of disputes. In family disputes, the premium is placed on maintaining the relationship during and after the resolution of the conflict- which often becomes impossible once the parties have been through the tedious and adversarial court process," the judge stated..Justice Kaul went on to highlight that in India there are still localized and customary forms of mediation that are still in existence, like in the State of Arunachal Pradesh where several diverse dispute resolution mechanisms operate in addition to the adversarial courts"The ‘Kebang’ is one such indigenous traditional system, which also looks after the day-to-day affairs of the villages. Unlike courts, the Kebang is a non-adversarial justice delivery system having belief in the amicable settlement of disputes outside the courts. Similarly, the Nyishi traditions have the Nyelee, which plays a very important role in the administration of justice. Nyelee involves a council of elderly people who are well-versed in local traditions, customs, and practices, and they arbitrate local disputes on this basis," he highlighted..He also said that efforts are ongoing not only for institutionalizing mediation but also for inculcating a culture of mediation and an academic study of the discipline.India, he said, has become a signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation in 2019 and last year the Mediation Bill, 2021 was introduced in the parliament with the aim of institutionalising mediation and establishing the Mediation Council of India..Justice Kaul also underlined the importance of free legal aid and exhorted lawyers to render pro bono services to the poor. "Article 39A of the Constitution of India envisions free legal aid for the poor and underprivileged. In this regard, lawyers have taken a lead to render pro-bono services and lend legal services to those who cannot access justice due to economic and other hardships," he said.