ijalr

Trending: Call for Papers Volume 3 | Issue 2: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]

Functioning of Legal Fraternity Post COVID.

Introduction

If we consider the past few months of 2019, the entire world was busy celebrating the usual chores of life, unaware of the natural calamity which was taking a colossal form slowly and steadily. The breakdown of Covid-19 has changed the normal way of life, not only in India but worldwide. It has crumbled the normal course of life to the level that many are facing survival crisis in various parts of the world. How would the world look like in aftermath of covid-19 is a debatable question. This pandemic has caused immense, incomprehensible damages to probably all the sectors of working. And, certainly, these sudden changes will open up more challenges than opportunities for the people. We can expect a paradigm shift in the legal area of India. In the days to come, courts will be all burdened by large number of cases pertaining to manpower rationalization, implementation delays of projects, failure of commercial activities, breakdown of projects, and many more.

 Therefore, the lack of judges and councils will exacerbate the already troublesome situation. To tackle the problem, the welcoming solution would be rigorous implementation of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the post Covid phase. 

The swift shift to digitization can serve the purpose well enough. This system will help judiciary in timelier delivery of judgements. The Supreme Court has also started hearing of cases via video conferencing. According to some reports, during the period of lockdown itself the court has heard as many as 593 cases through digital facilities. Now when the time has come to make the judiciary digital ready, it is imperative that cyber security execution should be more robust than ever. The digital platforms are subject to hacking, online theft and cyber threats, so it is the call of hour that our security systems should be made strong. This crisis has brought with it opportunities for legal fraternity to cope up with the technological advancements. A little experimentation has been done by the Supreme Court and various High Courts in taking the system online. And now this practice can be widened and intensified to make everyone familiar with the virtual medium. It is important to integrate or link data, procedures, and simultaneously making it user friendly. The common man of the society should be made well aware with the mechanisms of online court proceedings, informed about the hearing in time and the other daily routines to be followed by court. 
Apart from dealing cases digitally, online consultations to the clients can be another positive move. It will help to establish interaction between the lawyer and its clients virtually which will make easy for clients in seeking swift and prompt solutions to their legal problems. This also gives opportunities to big law firms to connect with the client base through various social media platforms. Additionally, digital platform has also enabled employees to work from home and earn their living. Work from home technique has spread rampantly across all working sectors and it will in future help people to work even in the situations where mobility is hindered.
Moving forward, the firms should be well equipped to sustain in the tough times. The senior councils should be lenient in not charging high fees from clients and maybe the hearings which are non-effective in nature can be left uncharged. For individual lawyers, there might be the times when rising amount of work would not bear the revenue they might be expecting. It is the time when they should be willing to balance their interests with that of other stakeholders.
Another remedy to fight the increasing work load can be shift to the Alternative Dispute Settlement. Arbitration, conciliation and mediation can entertain large number of cases related to employment, tenancy, interest chargeable, etc. Special courts can also be set up to handle cases arising because of corona virus outbreak, and related ones. And this will lead to increased appointment of lawyers for Arbitration and Assistants which in turn will create employment options in legal sector. This step will not only reduce the pendency of cases but will facilitate quicker and easier decision making.
In addition to this, it is the time when lawyers, be it at district level or state level, need to be technologically savvy. They need to adapt to usage of online applications like- zoom, Skype, internet services, software, laptops, etc.
Despite the fact that this pandemic has hampered all walks of life, the legal sector is expected to have an influx in the number of cases that would result in increased litigation. However, as already mentioned, expected increase might not be proportional to the revenue generation expected by the lawyers.
It is also the time when firms and councils should come forward to provide job opportunities to young lawyers. We should not forget that large chunk of lawyers pass out each year and many are the daily bread earners and for them it is required to work continuously to sustain living. It is important to formulate welfare policies so that they can maintain themselves in the tough times. The pandemic has affected morale, and up to certain level the working capacity of individuals. So to help them in overcoming this crisis, it is required that the legal sector should join hands to rejuvenate the budding lawyers.
Important of all, corona virus necessitates revisiting the existing laws in India. The amendment to various laws will make them adapt to the changing legal environment of today. The archaic version of legislation is not able to control the present crisis because framers of the laws were unaware of the circumstances populace might witness today. Indian Contract Act, Indian Epidemics Act, Intellectual Property Rights, Indian Labour Laws, and Indian Disaster Management Act, etc, are the legislations that require certain changes to meet the needed legal and economic framework. The changed and updated legislations will serve as a blessing in disguise in not only curbing the wrong done to the people but also in providing speedy and better redressal.

Conclusion

Surely, covid-19 will change the lifestyle of people for always. This lockdown and isolation has frightened us to the level that getting back to normal is not an option. It is the time when we have learnt to shrink our pool of luxuries to that of necessities. Despite confusion, cynicism and obstructionist politics around the objective of achieving the lucrative goals, a breakthrough is not impossible. Having said all this, it is quite clear that the legal sector of India is going to witness some prime and fundamental changes. The corona virus has brought with it the opportunity to fight the tough and come out triumphant. It is the onus of each one of us to stand rigid and attempt to overcome the harm which has been caused to each one of us in varied ways. The beauty of a coordinated and systematic effort is that each and every person can contribute to make a long term impact on the picturesque society. We just need to maintain the momentum while pushing ourselves to achieve the goals, so that we attain the optimum level of efficiency in making the community more self-reliant and robust.

This blog is authored by- Megha Gautam 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *