Survey hails US method for evaluating judges based on performance | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Survey hails US method for evaluating judges based on performance

A study has revealed that individuals in the legal profession are strongly in support of a performance-based evaluation of judges at all levels of the judiciar.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2016 09:36 IST
Soibam Rocky Singh
A study has revealed that individuals in the legal profession are strongly in support of a performance-based evaluation of judges at all levels of the judiciary.
A study has revealed that individuals in the legal profession are strongly in support of a performance-based evaluation of judges at all levels of the judiciary.(Shutterstock)

How is a judge evaluated for his performance? This question has baffled many both in and outside the legal profession for years. A study commissioned by the department of law and justice under the ministry of law attempts to bring to the fore the process of evaluating judges which hitherto has been shrouded in secrecy.

A survey by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy — which works with various government ministries to provide research and drafting support at various stages of law-making — has revealed that individuals in the legal profession are strongly in support of a performance-based evaluation of judges at all levels of the judiciary.

The report said Judicial Performance Evaluation (JPE) — the method developed in the 1970s in the US to periodically assess the performance of judges using various qualitative and quantitative parameters — could help the judiciary take decisions on transfer and promotion of judges, paving the way for a transparent and accountable system.

Medha Srivastava, who along with Sumathi Chandrashekaran of the Vidhi Centre conducted the survey, told HT that such a study has never been done in India before. Though it is an initial step, it could potentially change the way judges are evaluated in future, Srivastava added.

The interim report said that judges could be evaluated on the basis of objective and subjective criteria.

Objective criteria includes number of judgments overturned by a higher court, punctuality of the judge, range of areas on which the judge has worked and passed judgments, number of judgments appealed in a higher court.

Subjective criteria includes quality of judgments, litigant’s perspective, preparation and attentiveness, practitioners’ perspective, administrative abilities, strictures and adverse comments against the judge.