Legal order must constantly adapt itself to change: Manmohan Singh

Hyderabad, Feb 6 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Sunday said developing countries needed a legal system that is conducive to rapid economic development and one that had a built-in mechanism to promote equitable distribution of gains from development.

Inaugurating the 17th Commonwealth Law Conference here, Dr. Singh said: "A sound legal system based on the rule of law and effective and speedy contract enforcement are a major determinant of a favourable macro economic development."

"It is my firm belief that meaningful solutions to the problem of mass poverty that prevails in developing countries can be found only in the framework of a rapidly expanding economy," he added.

Dr Singh said the legal order must constantly adapt itself to change in a fast-changing world.

"That is the only way it (legal system) can retain its relevance. The role courts and judges in making law an instrument of social stability and progressive change cannot be over-emphasised," he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Singh urged the jurists and thinkers to reflect on ways and means that would ensure the continuing strength and resilience of liberal institutions of democracy and the rule of law in the framework of a rapidly expanding economy.

Further noting that the rule of law was an instrument of progressive change, social and political stability and economic development, Dr. Singh said: "Considering the reality and scale of conflict, deprivation and exploitation that affect the lives of millions of people in the developing countries, they need to take bold and imaginative measures to pursue the path of development with a human face.

"Any political system must ensure equality of opportunity and access to fair and neutral processes and empower citizens to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. The Indian experience of ensuring unity of its people amidst diversity could be of use to other countries that faced the challenge of establishing a national identity despite cultural and religious diversities in their societies," he added.

Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia and Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Kakru also spoke on the occasion. (ANI)

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