National Judicial Academy
National Judicial Academy
NJA is an independent society, established in 1993 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India is the Chairman of the General Body of NJA as well as the Chairman of the Governing Council , the Executive Committee and the Academic Council of NJA.
NJA is fully funded by the Government of India.
Management and Staff
The Director, NJA is the Principal Executive Officer of NJA. The Director is appointed by the Chairman, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India.
NJA academic staff positions include, in addition to the Director, one position of Additional Director (Research), three positions of Professor, six positions of Assistant Professor, six positions of Research Fellow and six positions of Law Associates.
NJA administrative officers and staff include, in addition to the Director, positions of Registrar, Additional Registrar, Chief Accounts Officer, Maintenance Engineer and other managerial and functional positions.
The 63-acre NJA campus is located on the outskirts of the picturesque and ancient city of Bhopal – on a lovely hill overlooking at a distance the famous and beautiful 1000-year old lake around which the city of Bhopal is built (covering some 33 square kilometers, the massive lake is visible from space).
The NJA campus is widely acknowledged to be the best judicial education campus in the world. It has residential facilities for 144 participants, a well endowed library, conference and seminar rooms and a state-of-the -art auditorium. Recreational facilities include a fully equipped gymnasium, swimming pool, sauna, tennis, billiards and other games. The NJA campus also has a 280 seater state-of-the art stand-alone auditorium.
NJA’S academic programmes are guided by the National Judicial Education Strategy (NJES). Under NJES, NJA has established a national system for judicial education.
NJES was developed in September 2006 at a meeting of NJA and High Court Justices in Charge of Education, chaired by Hon’ble Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Judge, Supreme Court of India (as he then was) and currently Chief Justice of India and Chairman, NJA. Hon’ble Justice S.B. Sinha, Judge, Supreme Court of India also guided the development of NJES. NJES has been further refined and developed during its implementation which commenced in January, 2007.
Salient features of NJES are summarized below.
National Judicial Education Strategy (NJES)
The National Judicial Education Strategy (NJES) defines the philosophy, vision and mission of national judicial education.
A. Philosophy: Vision of Justice of the Constitution of India
In its preamble, the Constitution of India sets “justice, social, economic and political” as the first aim of the Republic.
Article 39A of the Constitution provides that “the State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice”.
The definition of justice in this regard is to be derived from the Constitution itself . The Indian Constitution is a “Comprehensive Code of Justice”.
The judiciary of India has played a historic role in helping to realize the vision of justice set out in the Constitution, the laws enacted under it, and judicial precedent.
The people of India have developed deep and abiding faith in the judiciary of the country as the guardians of Constitutional Rule and the Rule of Law in India. For this role, the Indian judiciary is followed as a role model throughout the world.
Judicial practice and precedent – reinforced by law – have developed “reasoning” and “rationality” as the core methodology of judicial decision making in India. The Constitutional vision of justice as well as applicable provisions of law are thus developed and applied to the fact situation before them by judges using “reasoning” and “rationality”.
Thus, the core challenge of judging is to use the methodology of reasoning and rationality to safeguard and advance the vision of justice of the Constitution of India.
The vision of NJES is “Judicial education enhances the delivery of Timely Justice.”
C. NJA’s Mission
NJA’s mission is to enhance timely justice, focusing on (i) delay and arrears reduction (DAR); and (ii) enhancing the quality and responsiveness of justice (QRJ).
NJA views continuing education as a process of “creating solutions”, and judicial education as a process of “creating solutions for strengthening the administration of justice.”
Hence there is no “teaching”, “preaching” or “training” at NJA; no “teachers” or “students”; no “trainees” or “trainors”.
Rather, judicial education at NJA brings together judges from across the country to provide them a forum to jointly identify the major obstacles facing the administration of justice and develop appropriate solutions for overcoming these obstacles. Judges will then be able to implement these solutions as appropriate, resulting in the strengthening of the administration of justice.
Solutions may involve, for example, generation and use of new/additional knowledge of law; increased application of technology and modern management methods; deployment of appropriate approaches, methods and attitudes to judging; appropriate changes to management of relationships with other stakeholders in the justice system such as lawyers; government officials; ministerial staff and litigants; development and use of new techniques and tools; and change.
To assist in this process, NJA will identify priority challenges facing the administration of justice and organize appropriate programmes to facilitate problem solving. NJA will assemble knowledge inputs (documentary; as well as experts) and new ideas that will assist judges in problem solving. NJA programmes will also provide for judges to exchange knowledge and expertise and thus transform knowledge and generate new knowledge.
This approach to judicial education as “knowledge sharing for problem solving” brings participant judges to the centre of judicial education and demands their active participation in the process of judicial education. “Teaching”, “training” and one-way transmission of information through lecturing will not be appropriate for this approach.
NJA programs will therefore seek to use interactive approaches in which participants will actively share their knowledge, experience and ideas and engage in proactive thinking. Case study, group exercises, simulations, role play, field visits ane experiential learning are all key to the pedagogical methods to be used in NJA.
Development of Law/Development of Judicial Systems
In the common law system judges play a historic role in the development of law and legal and judicial systems/institutions. The doctrine of precedent and Constitutional provisions (such as Article 142 of the Constitution) provide the legal and Constitutional basis for the Supreme Court and High Courts to develop the law as needed to respond to t he interests of justice.
Under NJES, NJA arranges conferences of High Court justices in which the Justices may assess the current status of law in various areas and reflect together on the need for future development of law to respond to the needs of the country and in the interests of justice.
E. Curriculum Development
As guided by Hon. Chief Justice of India Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, starting in February 2007, the curriculum of NJA is being developed in a responsive, demand-driven manner that meets the needs of High Courts.
The first step in the curriculum development process is the preparation of a Judicial Education Needs Assessment based on a survey of all judges to ascertain their judicial education needs. This was done for the first time in February/March, 2007. The needs expressed by judges were then reviewed by High Courts and judicial education needs were identified. High Courts also then determined determine areas of judicial education that would be delivered by their State Judicial Academy and areas to be delivered by the National Judicial Academy. High Court Justices in charge of judicial education then met at NJA to discuss the proposed NJA Calendar for 2007-2008 and also their own proposed calendars. The aim was to develop a Coordinated National Judicial Education Calendar for the country. This 2007-2008 NJA calendar is the product of this elaborate process of consultation.
F. Model National Judicial Education Curriculum
Over the current academic year, NJA also took a lead towards establishing a set of common minimum standards for judicial education. At a meeting of High Court Justices in Charge of Education at NJA, a Model National Curriculum for Judicial Education was discussed and agreed. The Model Curriculum covers induction and continuing judicial education for all levels of the judiciary and serves as a suggested guideline only.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice HL Dattu
Hon’ble Chief Justice of India
Ex- officio Chairman: General Body
Chairman: Governing Council
Chairman: Academic Council
Ex- officio Chairman Executive Committee
National Judicial Academy India
P.O. Suraj Nagar,
Fax No:0755-2696904/ 0755-2432587
National Judicial Academy