The faith of citizens in judges and lawyers is the backbone of the legal institution, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal recently observed. .Chief Justice Agarwal noted that the feudal structure of society has deeply percolated into the working of courts in India. "Advocacy is never been seen from institutional perspective. It was always considered to be a profession of the elite, by the elite and for the elite. Courts, especially the higher courts was out of bounds for the common people. With globalisation and emphasis on inclusiveness of all sections of society, our courts have become more accessible," Chief Justice Agarwal said. The Chief Justice pointed out that the filing of cases today has increased manifold in comparison to the population ratio of an area. "Some may attribute flooding of cases to frivolous litigation but being an optimistic person, I consider this as a sign of reposition of faith of the society in the justice delivery system of our country. Our courts, the judges and the lawyers are the two constituents of the legal institution," the Chief Justice opined. She went on to added that such faith forms the backbone of the legal system itself."The faith of the people in society in us both judges and lawyers is the backbone of our legal institution. So there comes out responsibility to strengthen our institution. To meet the needs and aspirations of those coming towards us as the protectors of laws and in turn their protectors," she said..The Chief Justice was speaking at an event organised on February 3 by the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority (GSLSA) which hosted a two days advocacy skill development program for the legal aid defence counsel across the State. In her speech, Chief Justice Agarwal observed that initially it was assumed that only a person having a legacy could enter the legal profession. "There was no room for those who had no legal background. Only a son or later a daughter of a lawyer or a judge could think of entering into the profession. Legal education was confined to textbooks and was taken as a last resort even by those who had legacy. Practical training was confined to trial and error in courtrooms. Only few people could go to courts as a last resort," the Chief Justice said. Because of the huge disparity in the social status of people, there was lesser emphasis on individual rights. Therefore, people suffered thinking they had no option, she added. "This situation became a barrier to access to justice for many, especially for people from humble background and remote areas. With the transformation of the society as a result of agitation about rights of the women and marginal sections of the society, these sections have been elevated from numbers to important constituents of the society. In pursuit to seek answer to many questions with this transformation, we must take note of one welcome change in our legal institutions - the entry of first generation lawyers," she went on to remark. .As she concluded her speech, the Chief Justice flagged concern over the trend of young lawyers becoming reluctant to engage in chamber practice."No young lawyer wants to engage in chambers and the reason, as per me, are chambers of senior advocates are not enough to cater to the need of the new entrants. One needs recommendations to join a senior's chamber which he or she may not get without being acquainted with the people within the system and there, I think, lies the need to institutionalise training to young individuals aspiring to become advocates. Our accountability as an institution has increased. With ease of access to the institution, there is emphasis on institutionalising training programs," she said. The event also marked the extension of the psycho-socio care centres in prisons in Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot districts. Earlier, one such centre was inaugurated in August 2022 by the then Chief Justice of India UU Lalit at the Sabarmati Central Prison.