Saturday, 28 May 2022

Natural Justice

                                   Natural Justice

The term natural justice was commonly used in English law but it should not be confused with the concepts such as ‘Natural Law’ which deals with the ideal pattern of the society and natural rights. They are different from the term Natural Justice because it defines the specific procedural rights which every accused or the individual charged for any offence  while the trial is going on or hearing is taking place. It recognizes the close relationship between the common law and moral principles. The two technical terminologies which are used in the natural justice are:

  1. Nemo judex causa sua or rule against bias

  2. Audi alteram partem or right to a fair hearing

In the concept of nemo judex causa sua or rule against bias, a person is not allowed to judge his own case. He or she is barred from deciding any case in which he or she may be, or may fairly be suspected to be, biased. This also brings us to the point that there should not be impartiality while delivery of justice in any courts of law, tribunals, arbitrators and all those having the duty to act judicially whenever it makes decisions that affect people’s rights or interests, and not only when it applies some judicial-type procedure in arriving at decisions that affect people’s rights or interests, and not only when it applies some judicial-type procedure in arriving at decisions.

The main reason behind this is when the person who is judging a case is some or in the other way related to the accused, a kind of partiality will sweep over and that would harm the public confidence in the justice delivery system and in a democracy like India, such thing shouldn’t be happening in any way. It would break one of the pillars on which the country works. Also, the erosion of public confidence undermines the nobility of the legal system and leads to ensuing chaos. According to one quote ‘Justice must be rooted in confidence and confidence is destroyed when right people go away thinking: ‘The judge was biased’. The biases can be actual, imputed or apparent but whatever the case may be, it will lose public confidence and that is not right for a democracy like India.

In the case of audi alterem partum or right to fair hearing, everyone has the right to be heard before getting convicted in any manner or in any sense. It requires that individuals are not penalized by decisions affecting their rights or legitimate expectations unless they have been given prior notice of the cases against them, a fair opportunity to answer them, and the opportunity to present their own cases.

Apart from that, it has also been used by the courts as a base on which to build up fair administrative procedures. It is now well established fact that it is not the character of the public authority which matters but the character of the power exercised.

Therefore, what really matters at the end of the day is the people’s confidence in the justice delivery system and the individual’s rights are protected. It should not be destroyed or hindered in any way. 

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