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(DAY 400) The Fascinating World of Courts and Judicial Systems

· 4 min read
Gaurav Parashar

From the ancient forums of Rome to the modern-day courtrooms, the concept of a judicial system has been an integral part of human civilization. Courts have served as the guardians of justice, upholding the rule of law and ensuring that society functions in an orderly manner. In this blog post, we delve into the captivating history, evolution, and intricacies of court systems around the world.

The Origins of Modern Courts

The roots of modern courts can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where systems of justice and dispute resolution were established to maintain social order. The ancient Greeks, for instance, had a system of magistrates and public assemblies that served as early forms of courts. However, it was the Romans who laid the foundations for many legal principles and practices that are still in use today.

The Roman legal system introduced the concept of a hierarchical court structure, with different levels of jurisdiction and appeals processes. This system influenced the development of legal systems across Europe during the Middle Ages and beyond. As societies evolved, so too did the court systems, adapting to changing social, political, and cultural landscapes.

Diversity in Court Systems

Today, court systems around the world exhibit a rich diversity, reflecting the unique histories, traditions, and legal philosophies of different nations and regions. Some of the prominent court systems include:

  1. Common Law System: This system, which originated in England, is based on judicial precedents and the principle of stare decisis (adhering to previous decisions). Countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and India follow this system.
  2. Civil Law System: Derived from Roman law, this system relies heavily on codified laws and statutes. It is prevalent in many European countries, as well as parts of Latin America and Asia.
  3. Religious Law Systems: Several countries, including those in the Middle East and parts of Asia, incorporate Islamic Sharia law or other religious legal systems into their judicial frameworks.
  4. Hybrid Systems: Some nations have adopted a blend of common law, civil law, and customary or traditional legal systems, creating unique judicial structures tailored to their specific cultural and historical contexts.

The Role of Judges

Within the courtroom, judges play a pivotal role in the administration of justice. Their verbal orders and pronouncements hold immense weight and authority, shaping the course of legal proceedings. But why do judges give verbal orders in court?

The practice of issuing verbal orders stems from the principle of open justice, which promotes transparency and accountability in the legal system. By delivering orders orally, judges ensure that their reasoning and decisions are made publicly, allowing for scrutiny and fostering trust in the judicial process.

Moreover, verbal orders in court serve as a means of preserving the solemnity and gravity of legal proceedings. The spoken word carries a certain weight and formality, reinforcing the seriousness of the matters at hand and the authority of the court.

The Evolution of Court Attire

The attire worn by legal professionals in court has undergone a fascinating evolution over time. From the ornate robes and wigs of the British judiciary to the more subdued suits and gowns of modern times, court attire has been a reflection of societal norms, cultural influences, and the desire to uphold the dignity and decorum of the legal profession.

In recent years, there has been a growing debate around the relevance and necessity of traditional court attire, with some arguing for a more contemporary and inclusive approach. Nonetheless, the symbolic significance of court attire persists, serving as a visual representation of the authority and impartiality of the judicial system.

The Rise of Court Transparency

In the digital age, there has been a growing interest in court proceedings, fueled by the public's desire for transparency and accountability. In India, for instance, the Supreme Court and several High Courts have embraced the live streaming of court proceedings, allowing citizens to witness the judicial process in real-time.

This move towards greater transparency not only promotes public trust in the legal system but also fosters legal education and awareness. By making court proceedings accessible to a wider audience, citizens can gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the judicial process and the principles that govern it.

As we journey through the fascinating realm of courts and judicial systems, we are reminded of their vital role in upholding the rule of law, protecting individual rights, and ensuring the fair and equitable administration of justice. From the echoes of ancient forums to the live-streamed courtrooms of today, the pursuit of justice remains a constant thread woven into the fabric of human society.