Amity Law School Noida in collaboration with District LegalServices Authority, Gautam Budh Nagar organized one day National Workshop on“Access to Legal Aid & Services in India-2018” at University campus, sector125 Noida
The main objective of the workshop was to provide a platform forAcademicians, Scholars, Advocates and Administrators dealing with Legal Aid andSocial Justice to deliberate upon unaddressed legal issues. The workshop aimed to focus on the challenges, strategies andreforms in providing access to Legal Aid to those in dire need of it
Welcoming the guests, Prof.(Dr.) Dilip KumarBandyopadhyay, Chairman, Amity Law Schools said that the workshop intended to discuss challenges, latestdevelopments and reformative solutions which can contribute further in the areaof research.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Justice Dilip Kumar Seth, FormerJudge, High Court of Calcutta said that Parliament enacted the LegalServices Authorities Act, 1987, in order to give effect to Article 39-A of theConstitution, to extend free legal aid by ensuring that the Indian legal systempromotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity. He further added thatwithout adequate access to legal aid, those living in poverty or suffering fromintellectual difficulties can face threat of exclusion from the rightsguaranteed by law. Mr. Justice Seth averred that law students are eager toprovide legal services but cannot practice law during their study course,hence, law schools should establish Legal Aid Clinics which will serve thetwo-fold purpose i.e budding legal professionals can provide free legalservices to economically weaker sections and secondly, the students contributetowards development and empowerment of the society.
Speaking during the occasion, Mr. Alok Agarwal, MemberSecretary, NALSA said that the law is social engineering which defines,dictates and regulates the behavior of people in a social structure. Though,there are certain weak sections in this structure who suffer from variousvulnerabilities and it is the responsibility of legal professionals toreinforce the weak sections through law to stabilize the social structure. Heshared that Justice is not only meant to be given by court, certainissues can be resolved at ground level if a person is aware of his or herrights. He called upon budding legal professionals to identify the section ofpeople who need awareness regarding their rights and furthermore, be persuadedto claim their rights.
Sharing his views, Justice Mr. Rajesh Tandon, Former Member,State Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand said that it is important toprovide legal aid services to under trials prisoners since in most of thecases, the human rights of prisoners are violated. He stressed that impactassessment of legal aid services should be conducted regularly to evaluate thework of various legal agencies. He pointed out that marginalized people arerequired to be educated about alternate dispute redressal mechanisms suchas Lok Adalatas to settle grievances as litigation in the court is bound totake a long time and will also be expensive.
Duringthe workshop, technical sessions were conducted wherein eminent legalprofessionals discussed upon various topics including “Working &Significance of Lok Adalats & Permanent Lok Adalats as an AlternativeDispute Resolution System in India”; “Impact Assessment of Various Authoritiesunder Legal Services Authority Act 1987” and “Legal Aid & Services to UnderTrial Prisoners”