Legal order must constantly adapt itself to change: PM

Hyderabad, Feb 6 (PTI) Developing countries needed alegal system that was conducive to rapid economic developmentand one that had a bulit-in mechanism to promote equitabledistribution of gains from development, Prime MinisterManmohan Singh said while inaugurating the 17th CommonwealthLaw Conference here today.

"A sound legal system based on the rule of law andeffective and speedy contract enforcement are a majordeterminant of a favourable macro economic development.

"It is my firm belief that meaningful solutions to theproblem of mass poverty that prevails in developing countriescan be found only in the framework of a rapidly expandingeconomy," the prime minister said at the conference at theHyderabad International Convention Centre.

Manmohan Singh said the legal order must constantlyadapt itself to change in a fast-changing world.

"That is the only way it (legal system) can retain itsrelevance. The role courts and judges in making law aninstrument of social stability and progressive change cannotbe over-emphasised," he added.

The Prime Minister urged the jurists and thinkers toreflect on ways and means that would ensure the continuingstrength and resilience of liberal institutions of democracyand the rule of law in the framework of a rapidly expandingeconomy.

Noting that rule of law was an instrument ofprogressive change, social and political stability andeconomic development, the prime minister said constitutionaldemocracy with an unwavering commitment to the rule of law wasthe best choice for emerging economies that sought justice �political, economic and social � for all.

"Considering the reality and scale of conflict,deprivation and exploitation that affect the lives of millionsof people in the developing countries, they need to take boldand imaginative measures to pursue the path of developmentwith a human face. Any political system must ensure equalityof opportunity and access to fair and neutral processes andempower citizens to respect, protect and fulfil human rights,"the prime minister said.

The Indian experience of ensuring unity of its peopleamidst diversity could be of use to other countries that facedthe challenge of establishing a national identity despitecultural and religious diversities in their societies,he said.

Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia, Chief Justice ofAndhra Pradesh High Court Nisar Ahmed Kakru and others alsospoke on the occasion. The Prime Minister left for New Delhiafter inaugurating the conference.

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