July 2015

Greetings from DAKSH!

Here’s an update on what we’ve been working on since I last wrote to you.

Our Growing Collection of Data
Our data, as with each update, has grown. We have started collecting data for 128 district courts from across the country, and have nearly two lakh case records for the district courts. We continue to collect data from 10 high courts, namely the High Courts of Orissa, Calcutta, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Madras, Gujarat, and Patna.

State of the Judiciary Report
We are in the process of preparing a report on the state of the judiciary in India that will use data collected as part of the Rule of Law project to study the judiciary’s performance and its impact on society. The report will focus on the overall functioning of the judicial system, for the manner of judicial functioning has a direct impact on the quality of judgments rendered.

This data-driven report will throw new light on the role, performance, and accountability of the judiciary, and will be ready by the first quarter of next year.

Consultation
To seek inputs on the report, we hosted a consultation at our office on Saturday, 11 July 2015. We invited experienced lawyers, researchers, and academics to help us identify key points, keeping in mind that we will review the judiciary’s functioning through the lens of data and processes.

Some of the questions we addressed were:
●    Who manages the judicial system?
●    Why are some courts more efficient than others?
●    What are the expectations of citizens from the judicial system?
●    What are the barriers to accessing the justice system?

Along with the core DAKSH team, we had the pleasure of having with us the following guests; Alok Prasanna, Arun Srikumar, Ashwin Mahesh, Deepika Murali, Naren Thapetta Ramapriya Gopalakrishnan, R. Sri Kumar and V. Vijaykumar . The thoughtful insights we received from them have helped us streamline our ideas for the report.

We will be publishing a summary of the discussion on our blog shortly.

Blog
In the coming weeks, we will present overviews of our data, along with some preliminary analyses, on our blog. Kavya Murthy begins by explaining the nature and extent of information we are dealing with – you can find her post here.

We will be back with more updates next month. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you. Please let us know if you have questions or suggestions.

Thank you for reading!