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INTRODUCTION What is Ethics?

Ethics (also known as moral philosophy) is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality; that is, about concepts like good and bad, right and wrong, justice, virtue, etc.Ethics refers to the moral values that govern the appropriate conduct of an individual or group. Ethics speaks to how we ought to live, that is, how we ought to treat others and how we ought to run or manage our own lives. Simply stated ethics refers to standard of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves-as friends, parents, children, citizens ,businesss people, teachers,

professionals, and so on. Ethics refers to a system of moral principles a sense of right and wrong, and goodness and badness of actions and the motives and consequences of these actions. As applied to business firms, ethics is the study of good and evils, right and wrong and just and unjust actions of businessmen. Ethics is a body of principles or standards of human conduct that govern the behavior of individuals and groups. Ethics arise not simply from man's creation but from human nature itself making it a natural body of laws from which man's laws follow. Ethics is a branch of philosophy and is considered a normative science because it is concerned with the norms of human conduct, as distinguished from formal sciences such as mathematics and logic, physical sciences such as chemistry and physics, and empirical sciences such as economics and psychology. Ethics is seen as an individuals own personal attitude and a believe

concerning what is right or wrong, good or bad. It is important to note that ethics reside within individuals and that organization doesnt have ethics. People have ethics. Consequently, its definition and understanding varies from person to person. These are not absolute, but are relative. Ethical behaviors are in the eye of beholder. What is right or wrong is a personal individual matter, but is still influenced by socially accepted norms. Right, and proper and fair are the ethical terms. It expresses a judgment about behavior towards people they felt to be just. Ethics are useful tools for sorting out the good and bad components within complex human interactions. Business ethics does not differ from generally accepted norms of good or bad practices. If dishonesty is considers to be unethical and immoral in the society, then any business man who is dishonest his or her employees, customers shareholders, or competitors is unethical and immoral person .Businessmen should not try to evolve their own principles to justify what is right and what is wrong. Ethics refers to accepted principles of right or wrong that govern the conduct of a person, the members of a profession, or the actions of an organization. Business Ethics are the accepted principles of right or wrong governing the conduct of business people. Ethical decisions are those that are in accordance with those accepted principles of right and wrong, whereas and unethical decision in one that violates accepted principles. This is not as straightforward as It sounds Managers may face ethical dilemmas, which are situations where there is no agreement over exactly what the accepted principles of right and wrong are, or where none of the available alternatives seems ethically acceptable.

It is helpful to identify what ethics is NOT

Ethics is not the same as feelings. Feelings provide important information for our ethical choices. Some people have highly developed habits that make them feel bad when they do something wrong, but many people feel good even though they are doing something wrong. And often our feelings will tell us it is uncomfortable to do the right thing if it is hard.

Ethics is not religion. Many people are not religious, but ethics applies to everyone. Most religions do advocate high ethical standards but sometimes do not address all the types of problems we face. Ethics is not following the law. A good system of law does incorporate many ethical standards, but law can deviate from what is ethical. Law can become ethically corrupt, as some totalitarian regimes have made it. Law can be a function of power alone and designed to serve the interests of narrow groups. Law may have a difficult time designing or enforcing standards in some important areas, and may be slow to address new problems. Ethics is not following culturally accepted norms. Some cultures are quite ethical, but others become corrupt -or blind to certain ethical concerns (as the United States was to slavery before the Civil War). "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is not a satisfactory ethical standard. Ethics is not science. Social and natural science can provide important data to help us make better ethical choices. But science alone does not tell us what we ought to do .Science may provide an explanation for what humans are like. But ethics provides reasons for how humans ought to act. And just because something is scientifically or technologically possible, it may not be ethical to do it.


When people respond intuitively to the question What is ethics? they tend to identify ethics with principles which distinguish right and wrong. And this is correct as far as it goes. However, the kinds of situations which demand ethical action motivated by sound ethical principles also require a specific kind of thinking, namely ethical reflection.

Ethics: a set of values or group of moral principles that are right and good a code or principles of behavior or conduct governing an individual or group Ethical theories and frameworks that can impact an analysis of ethical behaviour . Four Principal Ethical Theories: 1. Rights Ethics - act is morally right when it respects rights relevant to a situation Examples: rights for life, liberty, pursuit of happiness other rights: private property, privacy, freedom of speech, fair trial, ... human rights and non-human rights? 2. Duty Ethics - act it right when it conforms with duties Examples: uphold promise, be fair, respect personal freedom duty to protect the weak, duty to comply with laws, ...? duty to do job to best of ability 3. Utilitarianism - right action consists entirely in producing good consequences Interpretation: good intentions, outcomes, results; ends justify means Example: most good for most people is optimal 4. Virtue Ethics - persons are morally good when their character is virtuous and expressed in action, attitude, and relationships (oldest, prominent in classical Greek thought and religion). Example Virtues: honesty, fairness, conscientiousness, etc. Four Secondary Theories:

1. Ethical Egoism - act is correct when it maximizes ones own interests 2. Corporate Egoism - act is acceptable when it maximizes the interest of a corporation 3. Ethical Relativism - act is right when it is approved by a group (conforms to laws) 4. Divine-command ethics - act is correct when it is approved by God

Situational ethics vs Absolutism Situational ethics means that depending on the specific circumstances, different rights, duties, values, etc. may apply. Absolutism implies that regardless of a situation, the basic ethical foundations remain the same. For example, most people would agree that killing is wrong / unethical. However, absolutism implies that it is always wrong. Therefore, a person who was absolutist would not be in the military and would not use deadly force to defend themself. Alternatively, situational ethics would allow that killing in some situations IS ethical. For example, the idea of justifiable homicide, such as in self-defense. Or defense of ones country in time of war. Again, neither view is either right or wrong. Ethical theory can support either argument. Stages of moral development: It is generally recognized that people tend to transition between different levels of moral understanding throughout their lifetime. As small children, we dont innately understand right from wrong, do not know what laws govern society, etc. As we learn, our views evolve over time. These so-called stages of moral development are often classified as follows: 1. obedience or punishment

2. marketplace morality 3. conformity 4. law and order 5. social contract 6. universal human rights 7. integrity - whole environment ethic Alternatively, Kohlberg grouped moral development into 3 MAIN levels: pre-conventional conventional post-conventional = self benefit, avoid punishment, defer to authority or power = conform blindly to societal norms or customs = autonomous, reasoned positions beyond self interest

Steps to confront moral dilemma: 1. Identify relevant moral factors and reasons what are the conflicting responsibilities, competing rights, and clshing ideals involved 2. Gather all available information that is relevant to the moral factors involved 3. Rank the moral considerations in order of importance (if possible) 4. Consider alternative courses of action to resolve the dilemma, considering the FULL implications of each 5. Talk with others to get alternative perspectives on the dilemma

6. Arrive at a reasoned judgment by weighing all moral factors on the basis of your information 3. Professional Ethics This section discusses some of the key facets of professional ethics. Specifics for each of these areas are provided in the professional codes of ethics from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Duty to the Public and Clients Being ethical also means being honest. In carrying out large and complex assignments, we confront issues that arent purely technical. There are business and financial ramifications to consider in our projects, and sometimes we must suppress our engineering egos in favor of the clients interests. Joel Cerwick, vice president Burns & McDonnell Avoid conflict of interest: no favoritism, based on personal biases, during engineering practice. This can include things such as influencing decisions that will yield personal gain. Ethics and Social Responsibility

Ethics are talked about frequently and addressed in the news when unethical decisions are found. Sadly, people do not hear about ethics when others are engaging in ethical behavior on a daily basis. Keep in mind that things that are not illegal may be unethical. Ethics are an individual belief system that consists of knowing what is right and wrong. Ethics can vary person to person. Ethics is in part analyzing decisions, beliefs, and actions. Within the business context, businesses are expected to have good ethical values and act socially responsible. The problem is that the ethics of a business is a mixture of individual sets of ethics. This is why it is important to have good individuals as employees. It is also

equally important that when you go to work somewhere that you feel like you share the values of those you work with. Ethics is not just talking about the right thing. It is doing what is right in every decision that is made. Social responsibility can be an example of ethical behavior. It is enhancing society in general. However, a business cant afford to go around doing good deeds if there is no potential pay off. If the business were to loose too much money, then it would cease to exist, hurt customers, and leave employees jobless. There are some that argue that social responsibility is shown only when companies go beyond what is optional, and really intend to create a benefit for others besides the company. Additionally, some companies may not benefit from some forms of social responsibility. These businesses should focus on what they do best as a business and give back what they can. There are innumerable ethical dilemmas that
may arise in a business setting. Some of them are more obvious while some of them are more obscure. There is a simple basis that helps keep decisions in perspective. Businesses should operate in a manner that is legal, profitable, ethical, and within social norms. By being within social norms means that you need to use society to gauge if your decisions are appropriate. Some cultures would define what is ethical differently from other cultures. Due to the fact that all businesses need to be profitable, sometimes there is an over emphasis on making more money. Social norms should govern what is appropriate to compensate individuals as well as to charge customers. Profit expectations and goals should not require a business to cut corners in an unethical way or to misrepresent or twist facts.

Then where do ethics come from? People begin to develop their internal beliefs from the time they are small children. Factors such as the conditions that an individual grows up in affect the way that they see the world. For example if a child was raised in a household with a lot of violence, they might feel that fighting is okay. The beliefs of the peers around you may influence how you see things. It is human nature to want to belong and some are more apt to

give into peer pressure. People have a lot in common with their peers due to similar values in the first place. However, it is hard to find two people that feel exactly the same about every situation. Some people would feel that if they found money that they should be able to stick it in their pocket and keep it. Others would feel as if they should take it to the lost and found area. Then why do people engage in unethical behaviors? Many people feel that they wont be caught. An employee that steals a few dollars out of petty cash may eventually result to taking large amounts of cash if they are never caught. Someone with lots of authority may feel like they can cover their tracks by lying to subordinates. Some people are unethical because they can justify what they are doing. If an employee sees other people not being punished for unethical behavior, then they may feel like they should be able to do it to. Some individuals make a poor choice and instead of coming clean about it feel the need to make more choices to cover it up. Once bad decisions are made, they tend to get worse until they are eventually caught. The biggest reason people are unethical is because they feel that they can gain from it, or that they need to hide something that can hurt them. There are many things that an organization can do to facilitate good ethical behaviors. One of the best things to do is to make sure that the underlying culture of an organization promotes strong values. People should not be punished for coming forward with problems. As a matter of fact, workers should be allowed to communicate problems anonymously. Some organizations have a phone number to call or a suggestion box. Always allow employees to share any ethical concerns with authority above them when there are ambiguities about the right thing to do. Another method for implementing ethical conduct is to make sure that unethical conduct cant occur. The ability to safeguard resources is an important function of internal controls. Other methods are to require signatures, to lock up valuables, use security cameras, have employees rotate jobs, and randomly check employee work. The more secure

your business is, the less likely that individuals within the organization will make unethical decisions.


Indias first major civilization flourished around 2500 BC in the Indus river valley. This civilization, which continued for 1000 years and is known as Harappan culture, appears to have been the culmination of thousands of years of settlement. For many thousands of years, Indias social and religious structures have withstood invasions, famines, religious persecutions, political upheavals and many other cataclysms. Few other countries have national identities with such a long and vibrant history. The roots of the present day human institutions lie deeply buried in the past. This is also true about the countrys law and legal system. The legal system of a country at any given time cannot be said to be creation of one man for one day; it represents the cumulative effect of the endeavour, experience, thoughtful planning and patient labour of a large number of people throughout generations. The modern judicial system in India started to take shape with the control of the British in India during the 17th century. The British Empire continued till 1947, and the present judicial system in India owes much to the judicial system developed during the time of the British.

The legal systems of the world today are generally based on one of three basic systems: civil law, common law, and religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each country is shaped by its unique history and so incorporates individual variations.

CIVIL LAW Civil law is the most widespread system of law around the world. It is also sometimes known as Continental European law. The central source of law that is recognized as authoritative are

codifications in a constitution or statute passed by legislature, to amend a code. While the concept of codification dates back to the Code of Hammurabi in Babylon ca. 1790 BC, civil law systems mainly derive from the Roman Empire, and more particularly, the Corpus Juris Civilis issued by the Emperor Justinian ca. AD 529. This was an extensive reform of the law in the Byzantine Empire, bringing it together into codified documents. Civil law was also partly influenced by religious laws such as Canon law and Islamic law. Civil law today, in theory, is interpreted rather than developed or made by judges. Only legislative enactments (rather than legal precedents, as in common law) are considered legally binding.

Scholars of comparative law and economists promoting the legal origins theory usually subdivide civil law into four distinct groups:

French civil law: in France, the Benelux countries, Italy, Romania, Spain and former colonies of those countries;

German civil law: in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, former Yugoslav republics, Greece, Portugal and its former colonies, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and the Republic of China;

Scandinavian civil law: in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. As historically integrated in the Scandinavian cultural sphere, Finland and Iceland also inherited the system.

Chinese law: a mixture of civil law and socialist law in use in the People's Republic of China.

COMMON LAW Common law and equity are systems of law whose sources are the decisions in cases by judges. Alongside, every system will have a legislature that passes new laws and statutes. The relationships between statutes and judicial decisions can be complex. In some jurisdictions

such statutes may overrule judicial decisions or codify the topic covered by several contradictory or ambiguous decisions. In some jurisdictions judicial decisions may decide whether the jurisdiction's constitution allowed a particular statute or statutory provision to be made or what meaning is contained within the statutory provisions. Statutes were allowed to be made by the government. Common law developed in England, influenced by Anglo-Saxon law and to a much lesser extent by the Norman conquest of England which introduced legal concepts from Norman law, itself having origins in Anglo-Saxon law. Common law was later inherited by the Commonwealth of Nations, and almost every former colony of the British Empire has adopted it (Malta being an exception). The doctrine of stare decisis or precedent by courts is the major difference to codified civil law systems.

Common law is currently in practice in Ireland, most of the United Kingdom (England and Wales and Northern Ireland), Australia, New Zealand, India (excluding Goa), Pakistan, South Africa, Canada (excluding Quebec), Hong Kong, the United States (excluding Louisiana) and many other places. In addition to these countries, several others have adapted the common law system into a mixed system. For example, Nigeria operates largely on a common law system, but incorporates religious law.

In the European Union the Court of Justice takes an approach mixing civil law (based on the treaties) with an attachment to the importance of case law. One of the most fundamental documents to shape common law is Magna Carta[5] which placed limits on the power of the English Kings. It served as a kind of medieval bill of rights for the aristocracy and the judiciary who developed the law.



Religious law refers to the notion of a religious system or document being used as a legal source, though the methodology used varies. For example, the use of Jewish Halakha for public law has a static and unalterable quality, precluding amendment through legislative acts of government or development through judicial precedent; Christian Canon law is more similar to civil law in its use of civil codes; and Islamic Sharia law (and Fiqh jurisprudence) is based on legal precedent and reasoning by analogy (Qiyas), and is thus considered similar to common law.

The main kinds of religious law are Sharia in Islam, Halakha in Judaism, and canon law in some Christian groups. In some cases these are intended purely as individual moral guidance, whereas in other cases they are intended and may be used as the basis for a country's legal system. The latter was particularly common during the Middle Ages.

The Islamic legal system of Sharia (Islamic law) and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is the most widely used religious law, and one of the three most common legal systems in the world alongside common law and civil law. It is the most protected divine law, because, the majority of the rulings of Sharia law are based on the Qur'an and Sunnah, while a small fraction of its rulings are based on the Ulema (jurists) who used the methods of Ijma (consensus), Qiyas (analogical deduction), Ijtihad (research) and Urf (common practice) to derive Fatw (legal opinions). An Ulema was required to qualify for an Ijazah (legal doctorate) at a Madrasah (school) before they could issue Fatw. During the Islamic Golden Age, classical Islamic law may have had an influence on the development of common law and several civil law institutions. Sharia law governs a number of Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, though most countries use Sharia law only as a supplement to national law. It can relate to all aspects of civil law, including property rights, contracts or public law.


Before the arrival of the British in India, India was governed by laws based on The Arthashastra, dating from the 400 BC, and the Manusmriti from 100 AD. In fact there existed two codes of laws one the Hindu code of laws and the other Muslim code of laws. They were influential treatises in India, texts that were considered authoritative legal guidance. Manusmriti's central philosophy was tolerance and pluralism. The Judiciary,the Executive, and the Legislature were the same person the King or the Ruler of the Land. But the villages had considerable independence, and had their own panchayth system to resolve disputes among its members. Only a bigger feud merited a trans village council. This tradition in India continued beyond the Islamic conquest of India, and through to the Middle Ages. Islamic law "The Sharia" was applied only to the Muslims of the country. But this tradition, along with Islamic law, was supplanted by the common law when India became part of the British Empire. The history of Modern Judicial System in India starts from there.

Judicial Administration in Ancient India

Law in ancient India meant Dharma in the broader sense. The Vedas, regarded as divine revelation, were the supreme source of authority for all codes which contained what was then understood as law or dharma. The traditional records have governed and molded the life and evolution of the Hindu community from age to age. These are supposed to have their source in the Rigveda.

Justice was administered in ancient India according to the rules of civil and criminal law as provided in the Manusmriti. There was a regular system of local courts from which an appeal lay to the superior court at the capital, and from there to the King in his own court. The Kings Court was composed of himself, a number of judges, and his domestic chaplain who

directed his conscience; but they only advised and the decision rested with the King. Arbitrators in three gradations existed below the local courts: first of kinsmen, secondly of men of the same trade, and thirdly, of townsmen. An appeal lay from the first to the second, from the second to the third, and from the third to the local court. Thus under this system there were no less than five appeals. Decision by arbitration, generally of five (Panches), was very common when other means of obtaining justice were not available.

Legal System in India during the British Period

India has one of the oldest legal systems in the world. Its law and jurisprudence stretches back centuries, forming a living tradition which has grown and evolved with the lives of its diverse people. The history of the present judicial system may be traced back to the year 1726, when a Charter was issued by King George I for bringing about important changes in the judicial administration of the Presidency Towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. The system of appeals from India to the Privy Council in England was introduced by this Charter in 1726.

In order to bring about better management of the affairs of the East India Company, the East India Company Regulating Act of 1773 was promulgated by the King. This Act subjected the East India Company to the control of the British Government and made a provision for His Majesty by Charters or Letters Patent to establish the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William at Calcutta, superseding the then prevalent judicial system. The Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William was established by a letter patent issued on March 26, 1774. This Court, as a court of record, had full power and authority to hear and determine all complaints against any of His Majestys subjects for any crimes and also to entertain, hear and determine any suits or actions against any of His Majestys subjects in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Two

more Supreme Courts, conceived along the same lines as that of the Supreme Court of Calcutta, were established at Madras and Bombay by King George III through Charters issued on 26th December, 1800 and on 8th December, 1823 respectively

In order to bring about better management of the affairs of the East India Company, the East India Company Regulating Act of 1773 was promulgated by the King. This Act subjected the East India Company to the control of the British Government and made a provision for His Majesty by Charters or Letters Patent to establish the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William at Calcutta, superseding the then prevalent judicial system. The Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William was established by a letter patent issued on March 26, 1774. This Court, as a court of record, had full power and authority to hear and determine all complaints against any of His Majestys subjects for any crimes and also to entertain, hear and determine any suits or actions against any of His Majestys subjects in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Two more Supreme Courts, conceived along the same lines as that of the Supreme Court of Calcutta, were established at Madras and Bombay by King George III through Charters issued on 26th December, 1800 and on 8th December, 1823 respectively.

The role of the Privy Council has been a great unifying force and the instrument and embodiment of the rule of law in India. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was made a Statutory Permanent Committee of legal experts to hear appeals from the British


Colonies in the year 1833 by an Act passed by the British Parliament. Thus, the Act of 1833 transformed the Privy Council into a great imperial court of unimpeachable authority. The Indian High Courts Act 1861 reorganized the then prevalent judicial system in the country by abolishing the Supreme Courts at Fort William, Madras, and Bombay, and also the then existing Sadar Adalats in the Presidency Towns. The High Courts were established having civil, criminal, admiralty, vice-admiralty, testimony, intestate, and matrimonial jurisdiction, as well as original and appellate jurisdiction. Provincial autonomy was established in India with the establishment of the Government of India Act, 1935, which introduced responsibility at the provincial level and sought the Union of British Indian Provinces with the rulers of Estate in a federation. As a federal system depends largely upon a just and competent administration of the law between governments themselves, the 1935 Act provided for the establishment of the Federal Court, forerunner of the Supreme Court of India. The Federal Court was the second highest Court in the judicial hierarchy in India.

The Federal Court was the first Constitutional Court and also the first all-India Court of extensive jurisdiction, and it had Original Jurisdiction in matters where there was dispute between the provinces or federal States. It was also the Appellate Court for the judgments, decrees, or final orders of the High Courts. Thus, the Federal Court of India had original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. The doctrine of precedent in India also had its roots in Federal Court as the law declared by the Federal Court and Privy Council has been given binding affect on all the courts in British India.

Constitution of India
The Indian Constitution is basically federal in form and is marked by the traditional characteristics of a federal system, namely Supremacy of the Constitution, division of power

between the Union and State, and the existence of an independent judiciary in the Indian Constitution. The three organs of the State State, Legislature and Judiciary have to function within their own spheres demarcated under the Constitution. In other words, the doctrine of Separation of Powers has been implicitly recognized by the Indian Constitution. The basic structure of the Constitution is unchangeable and only such amendments to the Constitution are allowed which do not affect its basic structure or rob it of its essential character. The Constitution of India recognizes certain basic fundamental rights for every citizen of India, such as the Right to Equality, the Right to Freedom, the Right against exploitation, the Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational rights, and the Right to Constitutional Remedies. Any infringement of fundamental rights can be challenged by any citizen of India in the court of law. The Constitution of India also prescribes some fundamental duties on every citizen in India.

Union and State Judiciary


Chapter IV of the Constitution of India deals with the Union Judiciary, which provides for the establishment and constitution of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, since its inception, was empowered with jurisdiction far greater than that of any comparable court anywhere in the world.

As a federal court, it has exclusive jurisdiction to determine disputes between the Union of India and any state and the states inter-se. Under Article 32, it issue writs for enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

As an appellate court, it could hear appeals from the state high courts on civil, criminal and constitutional matters. It has the special appellate power under Article 136 to grant leave to appeal from any tribunal or court. Thus, it is a forum for the redressing of grievance not only in its jurisdiction as conferred by the constitution, but also as a platform and forum for every grievance in the country which requires judicial intervention. The Supreme Court, with the present strength of 25 judges and the chief justice, is the repository of all judicial powers at the national level. Supreme Court judges holds office until they reach the age of 65 years.

The State Judiciary consists of a high court for each state and subordinate courts in each district. Each high court consists of a chief justice and a number of puisne judges. The high court judges are appointed by the President after consultation with the chief justice of India and the chief justice of that state. The high court judge holds office until he reaches the age of 62 years.

The Supreme Court of India

On 28 January 1950, two days after India became a Sovereign Democratic Republic, the Supreme Court of India was born. The inauguration took place in the Princes Chamber in the Parliament building complex which also housed both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha,

also known as the Council of States and the House of the People, respectively. It was here, in this Chamber of Princes, that the Federal Court of India had sat for 12 years between 1937 and 1950. This was to be the home of the Supreme Court for years that were to follow its creation, until the Supreme Court of India acquired its own building in 1958.

The inaugural proceedings were simple, but impressive. They began at 9.45 a.m. when the Judges of the Federal Court - Chief Justice Harilal J.Kania and Justices [Saiyid Fazl Ali], [M. Patanjali Sastri], [Mehr Chand Mahajan], [Bijan Kumar Mukherjea] and [S.R.Das] - took their seats. In attendance were the Chief Justices of the High Courts of Allahabad, Bombay, Madras, Orissa, Assam, Nagpur, Punjab, Saurashtra, Patiala and the East Punjab States Union, Mysore, Hyderabad, Madhya Bharat and Travancore-Cochin. Along with the Attorney General for India, Pankaj Singh Kushwah were present the Advocate Generals of Bombay, Madras, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, East Punjab, Orissa, Mysore, Hyderabad and Madhya Bharat. Present too, were Prime Minister, other Ministers, Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of foreign States, a large number of Senior and other Advocates of the Court and other distinguished visitors.

Taking care to ensure that the Rules of the Supreme Court were published and the names of all the Advocates and agents of the Federal Court were brought on the rolls of the Supreme Court, the inaugural proceedings were over and put under part of the record of the Supreme Court.

After its inauguration on January 28, 1950, the Supreme Court commenced its sittings in a part of the Parliament House. The Court moved into the present building in 1958. The building is shaped to project the image of scales of justice. The Central Wing of the building is the Centre Beam of the Scales. In 1979, two New Wings - the East Wing and the West

Wing - were added to the complex. In all there are 15 Court Rooms in the various wings of the building. The Chief Justice's Court is the largest of the Courts located in the Centre of the Central Wing.

The original Constitution of 1950 envisaged a Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and 7 puisne Judges - leaving it to Parliament to increase this number. In the early years, all the Judges of the Supreme Court sat together to hear the cases presented before them. As the work of the Court increased and arrears of cases began to accumulate, Parliament increased the number of Judges from 8 in 1950 to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978 and 26 in 1986. As the number of the Judges has increased, they sit in smaller Benches of two and three coming together in larger Benches of 5 and more only when required to do so or to settle a difference of opinion or controversy.

The Supreme Court of India comprises the Chief Justice and 30 other Judges appointed by the President of India, as the sanctioned full strength. Supreme Court Judges retire upon attaining the age of 65 years. In order to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court, a person must be a citizen of India and must have been, for at least five years, a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession, or an Advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession for at least 10 years or he must be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist. Provisions exist for the appointment of a Judge of a High Court as an Ad-hoc Judge of the Supreme Court and for retired Judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts to sit and act as Judges of that Court.

The Constitution seeks to ensure the independence of Supreme Court Judges in various ways. A Judge of the Supreme Court cannot be removed from office except by an order of the President passed after an address in each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the

total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of members present and voting, and presented to the President in the same Session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity. A person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court is debarred from practicing in any court of law or before any other authority in India.

The proceedings of the Supreme Court are conducted in English only. Supreme Court Rules, 1966 are framed under Article 145 of the Constitution to regulate the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of India is the highest court of the land as established by Part five, Chapter four of the Constitution of India. According to the Constitution of India, the role of the Supreme Court is that of a federal court, guardian of the Constitution and the highest court of appeal.

Articles 124 to 147 of the Constitution of India lay down the composition and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India. Primarily, it is an appellate court which takes up appeals against judgments of the High Courts of the states and territories. However, it also takes writ petitions in cases of serious human rights violations or any petetion filed under Article 32 which is the right to constitutional remedies or if a case involves a serious issue that needs immediate resolution. The Supreme Court of India had its inaugural sitting on 28 January 1950, and since then has delivered more than 24,000 reported judgments.

Independence of Judiciary
The principle of the independence of justice is a basic feature of the constitution. In a country like India, which is marching along the road to social justice with the banner of

democracy and the rule of law, the principle of independence of justice should not only be treated as an abstract conception but also a living faith.

Independence of justice deals with the independence of the individual judges in relation to their appointment, tenure, and payment of salaries, and also non-removal except by process of impeachment. It also means the Institutional Independence of the Judiciary. The concept of independence of justice is a noble concept which inspires the constitutional scheme and constitutes the foundation on which rests the edifice of our democratic polity.It is absolutely essential that the judiciary must be free from executive pressure or influence and this has been secured by the constitution maker by making elaborate provisions in the constitution of India.

According to the World Bank, "although India's courts are notoriously inefficient, they at least comprise a functioning independent judiciary A functioning judiciary is the guarantor of fairness and a powerful weapon against corruption. But peoples experiences in fall far short of this ideal. Corruption in the judiciary goes beyond the bribing of judges. Court personnel are paid off to slow down or speed up a trial, or to make a complaint go away. Judges are also subject to pressure from above, with legislators or the executive using their power to influence the judiciary, starting with skewed appointment processes. Citizens are often unaware of their rights, or resigned, after so many negative experiences, to their fate before a corrupt court. Court efficiency is also crucial, as a serious backlog of cases creates opportunities for demanding unscheduled payments to fast-track a case.

Judicial backlog


Indian courts have large backlogs. For instance, the Delhi High Court has a backlog of 466 years according to its chief justice. This is despite the average processing time of four minutes and 55 seconds in the court. In Uttam Nakate case, it took two decades to solve a simple employment dispute. However it need to be mentioned that the concept of backlogs doesn't describe the actual reason for some many cases lying in the courts. Rather the term "backlog" has been misused and the term "pendency" is the right word for describing the large number of cases pending in the courts today. As could be understood, the largest number of cases that are actually pending in the Indian Courts are that of minor Motor Vehicle Cases, petty crimes such as stealing, abusing, insult, slap, etc. It is an established fact which the Govt. of India accepts that there is 40% shortage of judicial staff. Opposition and ruling party's corrupt politicians profit from the delays in the system.

On January 12, 2012, a Supreme Court bench said that people's faith in judiciary was dwindling at an alarming rate, posing a grave threat to constitutional and democratic governance of the country. It sincerely acknowledged few of the serious problems such as -

1. Large number of vacancies in trial courts, 2. Unwillingness of lawyers to become judges, 3. Failure of the apex judiciary in filling vacant HC judges posts, 4. The dragging of feet by the Centre in keeping its promises.

It wanted to seek answers from the government on amicus curiae's suggestion that access to justice must be made a constitutional right and consequently the executive must provide necessary infrastructure for ensuring every citizen enjoyed this right. It also wanted the Government of India to detail the work being done by the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms.

Judicial corruption
Corruption is rampant in India's courts. According to Transparency International, judicial corruption in India is attributable to factors such as "delays in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex procedures, all of which are exacerbated by a preponderance of new laws" Most disturbing is the fact that corruption has reached the highest judicial forum i.e. Supreme Court of India. Some notable cases include:

1. In December 2009, noted social activist, campaigner for judicial accountability and a Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan in response to the notice of contempt issued by the Supreme Court (for his interview to a news magazine in which he had said, "out of the last 16 to 17 Chief Justices, half have been corrupt"), filed an affidavit standing by his earlier comments saying: "It is My Honest And Bonafide Perception". Later In September 2010, he submitted a supplementary affidavit in which he submitted evidence to back his allegations.

In November 2010, former Law

Minister, Shanti Bhushan echoed Prashant Bhushan's claim saying: It is my firm belief that there is a lot of corruption in judiciary. I am saying the same thing which Prashant Bhushan had said. The question of apology does not arise. I will rather prefer to go to jail. The judiciary cannot be cleansed unless the matter is brought into the public domain. 2. In June 2011, a very widely respected former Chief Justice of India J. S. Verma echoed these views saying that "certain individuals with doubtful integrity were elevated within the higher judiciary" He cited the case of Justice M. M. Punchhi, whose impeachment had been sought by the campaign for judicial accountability. Justice Verma said he was willing to permit the allegations to be probed but the political executive refused to allow this. Justice Verma further explained, "Because

the allegations, if proved, were serious and therefore they required to be investigated, so that one could know whether they were true or not." He acknowledged that Justice Punchhi was later elevated to CJI despite facing "serious allegations". Justice Verma also talked about another former CJI K G Balakrishnan's continuance as National Human Rights Commission chairman. Justice Verma said, "He should have demitted long back and if he doesn't do it voluntarily, the government should persuade him to do that, otherwise, proceed to do whatever can be done to see that he demits office." 3. In November 2011, a former Supreme Court Justice Ruma Pal slammed the higher judiciary for what she called the seven sins. She listed the sins as: 1. Turning a blind eye to the injudicious conduct of a colleague 2. Hypocrisy the complete distortion of the norm of judicial independence 3. Secrecy the fact that no aspect of judicial conduct including the appointment of judges to the High and Supreme Court is transparent 4. Plagiarism and prolixity - meaning that very often SC judges lift whole passages from earlier decisions by their predecessors and do not acknowledge this and use long-winded, verbose language 5. Self Arrogance wherein the higher judiciary has claimed crass superiority and independence to mask their own indiscipline and transgression of norms and procedures 6. Professional arrogance whereby judges do not do their homework and arrive at decisions of grave importance ignoring precedent or judicial principle 7. Nepotism wherein favors are sought and dispensed by some judges for gratification of varying manner.

E-Courts Mission Mode Project


The E-courts project was established in the year 2005.. According to the project, all the courts including taluk courts will get computerized. As per the project in 2008, all the District courts were initialized under the project. In 2010, all the District court were computerized. The entry of back log case has started. The IT department had one system officer and two system assistants in each court. They initiated that the services in the Supreme Court in June 2011. The case lists of most district courts are available in This website is updated daily. Now the establishment work is going on taluk courts. The project also include producing witnesses through video conference. Filing cases, proceedings, and all other details will be in computers.

Jurisdiction and seat of High Courts of India

Year of Name Establishment Allahabad Andhra 1956 Pradesh Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra Mumbai(Benches at Nagpur, Bombay 1862 and Nagar Haveli and Panaji and Aurangabad) Daman and Diu Calcutta(Circuit Bench at Port Calcutta 1862 West Bengal Blair) Chhattisgarh 2000 Delhi Guwahati 1966 1948 Chhattisgarh Delhi Assam, Manipur,




Uttar Pradesh

Allahabad(Bench at Lucknow)

Andhra Pradesh


Bilaspur Delhi Guwahati(Benches at Kohima,


Aizwal, Itanagar

Nagaland,Tripura, Mizoram &Imphal.Circuit Bench at and Arunachal Pradesh Gujarat Himachal 1971 Pradesh Jammu 1928 &Kashmir Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya 1956 Pradesh Madras Orissa Patna Punjab & 1975 Haryana Rajasthan Sikkim 1949 1975 &Chandigarh Rajastan Sikkim Uttarakhand Jodhpur(Bench at Jaipur) Gangtok Nainital 1862 1948 1916 Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry Orissa Bihar Punjab,Haryana Chandigarh Madhya Pradesh and Indore) Chennai (Bench at Madurai) Cuttack Patna 2000 1884 1958 Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala &Lakshadweep Ranchi Bangalore Ernakulam Jabalpur(Benches at Gwalior Jammu &Kashmir Srinagar &Jammu Himachal Pradesh Shimla 1960 Gujarat Agartala &Shillong) Ahmedabad

Uttarakhand 2000

The first thing anyone should know about the Indian legal system is that it has one of the, if not the longest, written constitutions in the world. This came into force on 26th January, 1950.

It was prepared by the Constituent Assembly which consisted of about 300 members. A Drafting Committee was set up from among its members with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as the Chairman of this Committee. While all the articles were discussed and debated in the Constituent Assembly it was the Drafting Committee which had the largest share of the work of drafting the Constitution. It is a flexible Constitution and as a consequence has been amended 94 times in the last fifty seven years since it came into force. There is only single citizenship in India. It provides for an independent judiciary. The Supreme Court is the highest Court of the land and judges of the Supreme Court and the various High Courts are appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and other judicial authorities. The doctrine of judicial review is implicit in the Constitution. The Constitution represents the aspirations of the people of Independent India. Two hundred years of colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent brought about several changes in various fields be it the economy, society, the political institutions or the legal system. It completely transformed the laws and the legal system in the region. .A few of these changes were brought about inadvertently, mostly due to ignorance regarding the nature of the laws and the legal system followed by the people in the that the British went on to rule. This was especially so with reference to the laws relating to marriage, inheritance, succession etc. Thus, if one were to identify the three most important characteristics of the Indian legal system then I would say that they are firstly, the fact that we follow the common law system, secondly, the codified laws and the thirdly the personal laws or the lack of a civil code. From the time that the British began to administer the territory that they acquired in 1764 they inadvertently began to change the law and the administration of justice. Later developments in the subcontinent were, however, much more conscious. All these developments went on to influence the Constitution of India as also her legal system. English Law was introduced initially through the application of the principles of justice, equity and

good conscience, as interpreted by the English judges and through the decisions of the Privy Council in England. Later through the codification of the various laws and procedure English law was imported into the subcontinent and thus one will find a great deal of similarity in the criminal law and procedure of the countries in the South Asia region even today. And also find similarities between many of the laws and the legal systems in this region and those of other Commonwealth countries. As a consequence decisions of the English and American courts are cited and used in many cases decided by the Supreme Court of India. The next important influence of Colonial rule to be still found in India is that virtual all the laws are codified in one form or the other. Most of these were codified during colonial rule and continue to be the law even today while a few others were amended and subsequently replaced by new statutes, like the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (1862). The various codified enactments are the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, The Indian Contract Act, 1872, The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, The Civil Procedure Code,1908, The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, etc.This process of codification was not of the prevailing laws in the Indian subcontinent, but of the English laws. Though there were local laws relating to commercial topics,contract in general or civil wrongs and the Hindu and Muslim laws of evidence, the British during the course of the nineteenth century either ignored the prevailing law or abolished them and introduced English law through the process of codification. Thus, one will again see a great deal of similarity between these laws and the English law as a consequence. The third most drastic change was in the area of personal laws. The British administrators presumed that the laws relating to marriage, inheritance, succession etc. were derived from the religious texts of the people, instead of customary practices in the different regions and as a consequence laws that were prescribed about a thousand years ago, particularly for upper caste Hindus,81 were codified and uniformly applied to all Hindus, while the Quran and

more specifically a legal text like the al-Hedaya was applied to everyone categorized as Muslims.82 As a consequence in the course of administering justice for the people of this region they inadvertently not only changed the identities of the people but also changed the very laws that were actually in force, viz., customary law and instead brahmanised the law for all non muslims and non Christians while they enforced the sharia law on all muslims, irrespective of the practices followed by the various communities based on their historical development. Thus, even today, there is no one civil law that governs marriage, inheritance etc. Instead each religious community is governed by a set of codified laws for these matters. As a consequence even today the so called personal law in India is still presumed to be derived from the religious texts of the communities that exist in India, viz., the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians and the Parsis. There is no Uniform Civil Code, though there is the Special Marriage Act which is the civil law available, if one chooses to be married under it. Apart from these developments, in the context of India today some of the most critical issues before the Government and thus, the judiciary, are the questions of delay in justice because of the backlog of cases. As an example, just in the Supreme Court of India itself, there was a backlog of over 10,000 cases at the beginning of this year. The Judiciary has sought to remedy this position by computerizing the courts and by setting up fast track courts, first in the criminal justice system and now in the civil justice system as well. In the pre-colonial days the administration of justice was not based on adversarial system, but on an adjudicatory process that sought through arbitration and negotiation to bring about a compromise. This was available at the local level and did not involve distance or financial expenses as the present system involves. Another reason for the backlog of cases is the fact that all judicial appointments have not been made. There are several vacancies at all levels of the judiciary.


Secondly, is the question of access to justice for various marginalized groups like women, the dalits, tribals etc. Though there is provision for legal aid in the Constitution itself and The Legal Services Authorities Act 1986, the marginalised groups either lack the awareness of the law and their rights or are ignorant of the mechanisms through which they can access justice and as a consequence except for interventions through Art 32 of the Constitution through filing of writ petitions83 by organizations or groups most marginalised communities have not been able to avail of the rights granted to them in the Constitution leading to a sense of hopelessness and frustration. The Legal Aid Boards in many of the States and a few of the law colleges regularly conduct legal awareness programmes and try to even provide some legal aid through their legal services clinics. When I speak of access to justice I am referring to the two parts to it, one is the investigation and the other is prosecution of the case itself. What we find in the context of India is the inherent biases of caste, class, gender, religion etc which come in the way of the investigating officers registering the cases filed by members of these marginalised groups and in the context of investigation resulting in low levels of conviction in cases from these groups. As a consequence in recent days there has been the very uncomfortable trend in one of the states of people taking justice into their hands. A third critical issue before the judiciary today is the issue of social justice, a mandate of the Constitution, an eg., is the gender imbalance in the judicial system and in the administration of justice. In over fifty years of the Supreme Courts existence there have been only three women judges, similarly in the High Court of Karnataka, in about fifty years since the High Court was established there has been only one woman judge, despite the fact that there are over 13,000 women lawyers in the State. In the context of globalisation and privatization which was initiated in the 1990s this is one of the pressing concerns given the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.


Given that the current economic policy is not in keeping the provisions of Part IV of the Constitution which provides guidelines aiming to provide social and economic justice we find a recent trend of the Supreme Court which is in keeping with the states policy rather than with the Directive Principles of State Policy. Though originally and for a long time as I have mentioned in the earlier paragraph it was through the Supreme Courts interpretation and intervention that social justice was actually carried out. Law and the Legal system being seen as the means by which justice and equality can be achieved in a liberal democratic society these new trends are obviously matters of concern for all well meaning members of civil society in India. Increasingly there has been the suggestion to decentralize the justice administration system and revert to a modified version of the precolonial justice system.

Law Commission of India

The Law Commission of India was started in 1955 by an executive order. In order to confront new situations and problems which arise from time to time and to amend law which calls for amendment, a body like the Law Commission is absolutely essential. This is because it is a body which is not committed to any political party and which consists of judges and lawyers, who are expert in the field and who would bring to bear upon the problems purely judicial and impartial minds. As the parliament is very busy in day-to-day debates and discussions, its members do not have the necessary time to consider legal changes required to meet the new situations and problems in a constructive manner. For that the Law Commission may be able to serve its purpose effectively. The function of the law commission is to study the existing laws, suggest amendments to the same if necessary, and to make recommendations for enacting new laws. The recommendations for amendment of the


existing laws are made by the commission either suo motu or on the request of the government.

Presently, the eighteenth Law Commission is in existence. The Law Commission in India has brought out 207 scholarly reports to date on various legal aspects. The full text for each report is available on the commissions website.

Legal Profession
The profession of law is called a noble profession, and lawyers are a force for the perseverance and strengthening of constitutional government because they are guardians of the modern legal system. The first step in the direction of organizing a legal profession in India was taken in 1774 with the establishment of the Supreme Court at Calcutta. The Supreme Court was empowered to approve, admit and enroll such and so many advocates, Vakils and Attorneys-at-law as to the court shall seem meet. The Bengal Regulation VII of 1793 for the first time created a regular legal profession for the companies courts. Other, similar regulations were passed to regulate the legal profession in the Companies courts in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Madras, and Bombay.

The Legal Practitioner Act of 1879 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to legal practitioners. This empowered an advocate/Vakil to enroll on the roll in any high court and to practice in all the Courts subordinate to the high court concerned, and also to practice in any court in British India other than the high court on whose roll he was not enrolled.

After independence of India, it was felt that the judicial administration in India should be changed according to the needs of the time. Presently, the legal profession in India is

governed by the Advocates Act of 1961, which was enacted on the recommendation of the Law Commission of India to consolidate the law relating to legal practitioners and to provide for the constitution of the Bar Council and the All India Bar. Under the Advocates Act, the Bar Council of India has been created as a statutory body to admit persons as advocates on its roll, to prepare and maintain such roll, to entertain and determine instances of misconduct against advocates on its roll and to safeguard the rights, privileges, and interests of advocates on its roll. The Bar Council of India is also an apex statutory body which lays down standards of professional conduct and etiquette for advocates, while promoting and supporting law reform.

Legal Education
Legal education in India is regulated by the Bar Council of India, which is a statutory body constituted under the Advocates Act of 1961. There are two types of graduate level law courses in India:


A 3 year course after graduation; and,


A 5 year integrated course after the 10 + 2 leading to a graduate degree

with honors and a degree in law.

The Bar Council of India rules prescribe norms for recognition of the universities/colleges imparting legal education. A graduate from a recognized law college, under the Advocates Act of 1961, is only entitled to be registered as an advocate with the Bar Council, and any law graduate registered with Bar Council is eligible to practice in any court of law in India.

Manifestations of Legal Literature


Legal fraternity may need different types of information, such as case laws, statutory provisions, rules framed under any act, object and reasons of any act, amendment of any act, notifications issued under any particular statute, debates in parliament at the time of enactment of any particular act, or academic articles on a given topic in different situations.

Legal literature manifests itself in many forms such as:


Bare Acts


Commentaries on specific laws


Manuals/local acts




Law Commission Reports


Committee/Commission Reports


Annual Reports


Parliamentary Committee Reports

Joint Committee

Select Committee

Standing C




Central Government


State Government


Parliamentary Debates

Constituent Assembly Debates

Lok Sabha Debates

Rajya Sabha Debates


Parliamentary Bills

Lok Sabha Bills

Rajya Sabha Bills

State Legislature Bills


Law Journals

Academic Journals (containing articles only)

Law Reports (containing only the full text of case laws)

Hybrid, i.e. a combination of both articles and case laws. Some of the journals also publish statutory materials such as acts, amendments, rules, etc.

Only legislative materials such as acts, rules, notifications, etc.




Legal Dictionaries/Law Lexicons



Legal encyclopedic works: such as American jurisprudence, corpus juris

secundum, Halsbury law of England, and Halsbury laws of India.

Law Reporting in India

The theory of binding force of precedent is firmly established in England. A judge is bound to follow the decision of any court recognized as competent to bind him, and it becomes his duty to administer the law as declared by such a court. The system of precedent has been a powerful factor in the development of the common law in England.Because of common law heritage, the binding force of precedents has also been firmly established in India, meaning thereby that the judgments delivered by the superior courts are as much the law of the country as legislative enactments.

The theory of precedent brings in its wake the system of law reporting as its necessary concomitant. Publication of decisions is a condition necessary for the theory of precedent to operate; there must be reliable reports of cases. If the cases are to be binding, then there must be precise records of what they lay down, and it is only then that the doctrine of stare decisis can function meaningfully. The Indian Law Reports Act of 1875 authorizes the publication of the reports of the cases decided by the high courts in the official report and provides that, No Court shall be bound to hear cited, or shall receive or treat as an authority binding on it the report of any case decided by any of the said High Courts on or after the said day other than a report published under the authority of the Governor-General-in-Council.

Though the Law Reports Act gave authenticity to the official reports, it did not take away the authority of unpublished precedents or give a published decision a higher authority than that possessed by it as a precedent. A Supreme Court or high court decision is authoritative by itself, not because it is reported.The practice of citing unreported decisions thus led to the

publication of a large number of private reports. The unusual delay in publication of official reports and incompleteness of the official reports made the private reports thrive, resulting in a number of law reports in India being published by non-official agencies on a commercial basis.

In India, there are more than 300 law reports published in the country. They cover a very wide range and are published from various points of view. A union catalogue compiled by the Supreme Court Judges Library of the current law journals subscribed by the libraries of various high court and Supreme Court judges (appended at the end of this paper) gives details of various law reports published from India. It also gives details of various foreign law reports submitted by law libraries in India, which gives an idea of the foreign journals being used by the legal fraternity in the country.

Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on


derivatives markets. Property law defines rights and obligations

related to the transfer and title ofpersonal (often referred to as chattel) and real property. Trust law applies to and assets held



security, while tort law allows claims for compensation if a person's rights or property are harmed. If the harm is criminalized in a statute, criminal law offers means by which the state can prosecute the perpetrator. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representative. Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies, while international law governs affairs between sovereign nation states in activities ranging from trade to environmental regulation or military action. Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, "The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual." Legal systems elaborate rights and responsibilities in a variety of ways. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, which codify their laws, and common law systems, where judge made law is not consolidated. In some countries, religion still informs the law. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry, into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis or sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness and justice. "In its majestic equality", said the author Anatole France in 1894, "the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread."

In a typical democracy, the central institutions for interpreting and creating law are the three main branches of government, namely an impartial judiciary, a democratic legislature, and an accountable executive. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public, a government's bureaucracy, the military and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress.


Most of the time laws are written, approved, and then enforced by the level of government where they were written. For example, a State law is enforced by the state. A Federal law is enforced by the Feds. In other words; State Laws and Government Laws go through a process to get approved, written into law, and then are enforced. Ethics are like rules of conduct. For example, Doctors have unwritten ethical rules or practices that they adhere to just because it's the right thing to do. They have the responsibility to take care of you to the best of their ability. It's ethically correct for a Doctor to do his best to help you with your medical malady, but it's not a law that he has to. If a Doctor is unable to help you with your problem he has an ethical responsibility to refer you to a specialist, but there is not a law saying that he has to do that. Most occupations have ethics that come along with the job. They are not written done, they are unspoken rules of conduct that people adhere to. For example an electrician has an ethical responsibility to repair your house wiring correctly so that it works correctly and is not a safety hazard for you.

Natural Law and Reason

Among intellectuals who consider themselves "scientific," the phrase "the nature of man is apt to have the effect of a red flag on a bull. "Man has no nature!" is the modern rallying cry; and typical of the sentiment of political philosophers today was the assertion of a

distinguished political theorist some years ago before a meeting of the American Political Science Association that "man's nature" is a purely theological concept that must be dismissed from any scientific discussion. In the controversy over man's nature, and over the broader and more controversial concept of "natural law," both sides have repeatedly proclaimed that natural law and theology are inextricably intertwined. As a result, many champions of natural law, in scientific or philosophic circles, have gravely weakened their case by implying that rational, philosophical methods alone cannot establish such law: that theological faith is necessary to maintain the concept. On the other hand, the opponents of natural law have gleefully agreed; since faith in the supernatural is deemed necessary to belief in natural law, the latter concept must be tossed out of scientific, secular discourse, and be consigned to the arcane sphere of the divine studies. In consequence, the idea of a natural law founded on reason and rational inquiry has been virtually lost.? The believer in a rationally established natural law must, then, face the hostility of both camps: the one group sensing in this position an antagonism toward religion; and the other group suspecting that God and mysticism are being slipped in by the back door.


Laws and ethics have common aim- defining proper and improper behavior. But the two are not quite same. Laws are the societys attempt to formalize that is to reduce to written rulesidea about what is right and what is wrong in various walks of like. However, it is rarely possible for written rules to capture all the sublet variations that people give to ethics. Ethical concepts are more complex than writing rules. Ethics deals with human dilemmas that frequently go beyond the formal language of laws and the meanings given to legal rules. Similarities and differences apart, legal rules help promote ethical behavior in organization.


Some of the acts which seek to ensure fair business practices in our country are the followings: The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973, now replaced by FEMA. The Companies Act, 1956. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. The consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Environment Protection Act, 1986. The Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

Government policies on ethics

Cultural Expression as a Human Right :- Although there is no specific mention of culture orethnicity, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for the equality of individuals, prohibits discrimination based on race/religion/language, and freedom of religion. These protections are generally accepted to cover the right to collective protection of culture.

Cultural Expression as reflected in Social Work Ethics:- The IFSWs Declaration of Ethical Principles recognizes in its introduction that IFSW guidelines should be adapted to differing cultural contexts. These principles prohibit discrimination on any basis (race, religion, language, etc) and adhere to the UN declaration of human rights. It can be assumed that these ethics encourage social workers to support their governments adopting policies that fit these principles. Government policy on cultural diversity can have a major impact on the practice of Social Work Of course, while social workers may refer to such broad principles as the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the IFSW Declaration of Ethical Principles when dealing with cultural diversity, these laudable standards do not always translate into reality on the ground level of day-to-day practice. Both individual and structural

barriers may exist. Being human themselves, social workers bring any number of biases to their work and they also practice within the context of government policy on cultural diversity. Governments world-wide have taken a variety of approaches to addressing cultural diversity in policy. And since social workers often work in government regulated settings, have their profession regulated by legislation and deal with the effects of other government policy on their clients, government policy without a doubt is a key shaping factor of practice. If cultural rights are not being respected, government policy will shape the recourses available to social workers and the people with whom they work.

How government policies affect the ethics

Sometimes it's easy to see when things go wrong in government: Elected officials take bribes; candidates lie about their opponents; city officials make important public decisions in secret meetings. Other times, the right thing is not so obvious: Should a councilmember represent the wishes of the majority, even when he or she thinks the majority is wrong? Is it acceptable for a governor to appoint a family member to his or her cabinet if the appointee is the best person for the job? Whether the ethical issues are obvious or complicated, they are easier to address if public servants have given some thought to the kinds of dilemmas they will confront before a crisis occurs. The materials in this "primer" on government ethics are intended to provide elected officials, government workers, and ordinary citizens with an introduction to the basic questions that are likely to come up in the conduct of public business.

A Framework for Thinking Ethically

We all have an image of our better selves-of how we are when we act ethically or are "at our best." We probably also have an image of what an ethical community, an ethical business, an


ethical government, or an ethical society should be. Ethics really has to do with all these levels acting ethically as individuals, creating ethical organizations and governments, and making our society as a whole ethical in the way it treats everyone.

Why Identifying Ethical Standards is Hard

There are two fundamental problems in identifying the ethical standards we are to follow: On what do we base our ethical standards? How do those standards get applied to specific situations we face? If our ethics are not based on feelings, religion, law, accepted social practice, or science, what are they based on? Many philosophers and ethicists have helped us answer this critical question. They have suggested at least five different sources of ethical standards we should use.

Five Sources of Ethical Standards

The Utilitarian Approach Some ethicists emphasize that the ethical action is the one that provides the most good or does the least harm, or, to put it another way, produces the greatest balance of good over harm. The ethical corporate action, then, is the one that produces the greatest good and does the least harm for all who are affected-customers, employees, shareholders, the community, and the environment. Ethical warfare balances the good achieved in ending terrorism with the harm done to all parties through death, injuries, and destruction. The utilitarian approach deals with consequences; it tries both to increase the good done and to reduce the harm done.

The Rights Approach Other philosophers and ethicists suggest that the ethical action is the one that best protects and respects the moral rights of those affected. This approach starts from the belief that

humans have a dignity based on their human nature per se or on their ability to choose freely what they do with their lives. On the basis of such dignity, they have a right to be treated as ends and not merely as means to other ends. The list of moral rights -including the rights to make one's own choices about what kind of life to lead, to be told the truth, not to be injured, to a degree of privacy, and so on-is widely debated; some now argue that non-humans have rights, too. Also, it is often said that rights imply duties-in particular, the duty to respect others' rights.

The Fairness or Justice Approach Aristotle and other Greek philosophers have contributed the idea that all equals should be treated equally. Today we use this idea to say that ethical actions treat all human beings equally-or if unequally, then fairly based on some standard that is defensible. We pay people more based on their harder work or the greater amount that they contribute to an organization, and say that is fair. But there is a debate over CEO salaries that are hundreds of times larger than the pay of others; many ask whether the huge disparity is based on a defensible standard or whether it is the result of an imbalance of power and hence is unfair. The Common Good Approach The Greek philosophers have also contributed the notion that life in community is a good in itself and our actions should contribute to that life. This approach suggests that the interlocking relationships of society are the basis of ethical reasoning and that respect and compassion for all others-especially the vulnerable-are requirements of such reasoning. This approach also calls attention to the common conditions that are important to the welfare of everyone. This may be a system of laws, effective police and fire departments, health care, a public educational system, or even public recreational areas.

The Virtue Approach A very ancient approach to ethics is that ethical actions ought to be consistent with certain ideal virtues that provide for the full development of our humanity. These virtues are dispositions and habits that enable us to act according to the highest potential of our character and on behalf of values like truth and beauty. Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, tolerance, love, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are all examples of virtues. Virtue ethics asks of any action, "What kind of person will I become if I do this?" or "Is this action consistent with my acting at my best?" Putting the Approaches Together Each of the approaches helps us determine what standards of behavior can be considered ethical. There are still problems to be solved, however. The first problem is that we may not agree on the content of some of these specific approaches. We may not all agree to the same set of human and civil rights. We may not agree on what constitutes the common good. We may not even agree on what is a good and what is a harm. The second problem is that the different approaches may not all answer the question "What is ethical?" in the same way. Nonetheless, each approach gives us important information with which to determine what is ethical in a particular circumstance. And much more often than not, the different approaches do lead to similar answers. Making Decisions Making good ethical decisions requires a trained sensitivity to ethical issues and a practiced method for exploring the ethical aspects of a decision and weighing the considerations that should impact our choice of a course of action. Having a method for ethical decision making is absolutely essential. When practiced regularly, the method becomes so familiar that we work through it automatically without consulting the specific steps. The more novel and difficult the ethical choice we face, the more we need to rely on discussion and dialogue with

others about the dilemma. Only by careful exploration of the problem, aided by the insights and different perspectives of others, can we make good ethical choices in such situations. We have found the following framework for ethical decision making a useful method for exploring ethical dilemmas and identifying ethical courses of action.

A Framework for Ethical Decision Making

Recognize an Ethical Issue Could this decision or situation be damaging to someone or to some group? Does this decision involve a choice between a good and bad alternative, or perhaps between two "goods" or between two "bads"? Is this issue about more than what is legal or what is most efficient? If so, how? Evaluate Alternative Actions Evaluate the options by asking the following questions: Which option will produce the most good and do the least harm? (The Utilitarian Approach) Which option best respects the rights of all who have a stake? (The Rights Approach) Which option treats people equally or proportionately? (The Justice Approach) Which option best serves the community as a whole, not just some members? (The Common Good Approach) Which option leads me to act as the sort of person I want to be? (The Virtue Approach) Make a Decision and Test It Considering all these approaches, which option best addresses the situation? If I told someone I respect-or told a television audience-which option I have chosen, what would they say? Act and Reflect on the Outcome How can my decision be implemented with the greatest care and attention to the concerns

of all stakeholders? How did my decision turn out and what have I learned from this specific situation?


A Case:- On February 14, 2006, a U.S. District Court issued an unprecedented ruling concerning the California execution by lethal injection of murderer Michael Morales. The ruling ordered that the state have a physician, specifically an anesthesiologist, personally supervise the execution, or else drastically change the standard protocol for lethal injections. Under the protocol, the anesthetic sodium thiopental is given at massive doses that are expected to stop breathing and extinguish consciousness within one minute after administration; then the paralytic agent pancuronium is given, followed by a fatal dose of potassium chloride. The judge found, however, that evidence from execution logs showed that six of the last eight prisoners executed in California had not stopped breathing before technicians gave the paralytic agent, raising a serious possibility that prisoners experienced suffocation from the paralytic, a feeling much like being buried alive, and felt intense pain from the potassium bolus. This experience would be unacceptable under the Constitution's Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. So the judge ordered the state to have an anaesthesiologist present in the death chamber to determine when the prisoner was unconscious enough for the second and third injections to be given or to perform the execution with sodium thiopental alone. The California Medical Association, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) immediately and loudly opposed such physician participation as a clear violation of medical ethics codes. "Physicians are healers, not executioners," the ASA's president told reporters. Nonetheless, in just two days, prison officials announced that they had found two willing anesthesiologists. The court agreed to maintain their anonymity and to allow them to shield their identities from witnesses. Both withdrew the day before the execution, however,

after the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit added a further stipulation requiring them personally to administer additional medication if the prisoner remained conscious or was in pain. This they would not accept. The execution was then postponed until at least May, but the court has continued to require that medical professionals assist with the administration of any lethal injection given to Morales.


IMPLICATIONS OF LAWS FOR THE SOCIAL WORK The protection, preservation and promotion of ones culture is widely recognized as a basic Human Right and professional social work ethics also recognise the importance of cultural autonomy in social work practice. Government policy, however, can greatly influence the degree to which social workers are able to respect their ethics and human rights. In Canada, there is a celebrated national policy addressing cultural diversity, but our experience highlights the difficulty of actually implementing such a policy and the difficulty in reaching social consensus on what is an equitable approach. Social workers, despite the degree to which they are impacted by government policy, need to do more research and reflection on the topic, developing the means by which they might advocate for equitable government policy for cultural diversity. BAN ON TABBACO ADS BY THE GOVT OF INDIA In a case which started in 1991 and ended in 1997, RJ Reynolds Tobacco company, marketer of Camel cigarettes, was forced to withdraw its mascot, Joe Carmel, an animated camel, from all its advertisements, after the California Supreme Court (USA) ruled that the company could be prosecuted for exploiting minors.


the accusation was that the slick, colorful advertisements (using an animated camel) appealed to the children and encouraged them to smoke. In India, analysts estimated that cigarettes contributed only 0.14% of the G.D.P and the health costs roughly translated to 0.21% of the G.D.P. So the revenue logic of huge contribution in the form of excise to the Exchequer did not seem to be valid. Also, given the state's significant contribution to health care, smokers, by damaging their health were in fact enhancing the State's expenditure. Questions were also raised about the economic impact of such a ban, given the fact that the tobacco industry provided direct and indirect employment to 26 million people. However, a study on tobacco consumption and employment, showed that effective policies to reduce smoking were likely to increase, and not decrease employment. The reason for this was that when people stopped smoking, the money did not disappear from the economy. It was spent on other goods and services, which the study showed, were more labor intensive. This, in turn produced more jobs. The impact of cigarette advertising on consumers was another contentious issue. A World Bank report had pointed out that policymakers who wanted to control tobacco should be aware of the fact that bans on advertising and promotion would prove effective, only if they were comprehensive-covering all media and all uses of brand names and logos. The

report also published the details of a comprehensive study of over 100 countries, comparing the consumption trends over time in those countries where relatively complete bans on advertising and promotion were and where no such bans were. In the countries with nearly complete bans, the downward trend in consumption was much steeper In 1992, the Department of Health (DOH), UK reviewed various forms of evidence to assess whether tobacco advertising affected the aggregate demand for tobacco products. Four countries (Norway, Finland, Canada and New Zealand) were chosen, as these countries had already imposed an advertising ban and enforced it effectively. The main conclusion of the DOH was that the evidence available on these four countries indicated a significant effect. In each case, the banning of advertising was followed by a fall in smoking. In 1997, in a similar study for the International Union against Cancer, the available data in the same four countries was examined. It was found that per capita consumption of cigarettes (15 years +) had dropped between 14 and 37 % after the implementation of the ban. (Refer Table I). In three out of the four countries, smoking among young people had decreased, while in one it remained stable. The conclusion was that advertising bans worked if they were properly implemented as part of a comprehensive tobacco control policy The National Population Policy The National Population Policy (NPP) hopes to address the unmet need for contraception, and provide health infrastructure, personnel and integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child health, bring the total fertility rate to replacement level by 2010, and achieve a stable population by 2045. Besides more general directives such as making school education free and compulsory and promoting delayed marriage for girls, the policy advocates an integrated package of essential services, which seems to consist of providing contraceptives, treating some reproductive infections and implementing some communicable disease programmes. Shortfalls in the governments services are to be made up by involving

the voluntary and private sectors. Many of the NPPs recommendations are uncontroversial on paper, and seem to be aimed at providing people more services. However, the proposed incentives to poor couples for sterilization, and rewards to local bodies for their performance, could encourage coercion. Womens organizations have also asked how the intersectoral approach will be implemented, and whether contraceptive technology and research will focus on safe and women-controlled products.

Most important, perhaps, is the fact that the NPP does not seriously address the conditions which produce ill health. Without significant change at this level, family planning will remain a low priority for the poor. The Living Wage: Building on the Minimum Wage The age of the living wage has arrived with a vengeance. In less than a decade, a well organized coalition of community groups, labor unions, political parties, think tanks, and churches has coaxed dozens of local governments across the United States into forcing designated employers to pay workers well above the current federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Living wage jurisdictions include major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Baltimore plus a large number of smaller cities and suburban counties. Local school boards and institutions of higher learning are participating as well. By the end of 2002 there were 103 living wage measures on the books, enacted mostly by municipal and county general governments, and another 74 campaigns actively under way. Activists defend living

wage laws as protecting vulnerable entry-level workers from poverty. They also argue that such laws improve employee morale and productivity, which in turn improves employers profits. Local governments, to the extent they pay contractors living wages, deliver better services at lower cost. Residents are more satisfied with the quality of life, and the pathologies associated with poverty are reduced. Only exploitative employers and their political supporters lose. Common sense and human decency therefore require national as well as local action in the face of rightwing scare tactics. The federal minimum wage should be made a living wage. The reality is quite different. At best, living wage laws bring about modest benefits at a higher cost to businesses and taxpayers. There should be little surprise in that. As an elevated version of the minimum wage, the living wage magnifies the formers labor market distortions. If applied to all employers in the United States, the living wage would make it far more difficult for first-time job seekers, especially those coming off welfare, to find work. The economic case for the living wage is difficult to make. Indeed, some three-fourths of economists surveyed by the Washington-based Employment Policies Institute said that living wage laws would result in employers looking for more-skilled employees, thus crowding out the people with the least skillsthe very people whom living wage laws are intended to benefit. The Minimum Wage as a Living Wage: A Critique Displacement of Less-Skilled Workers Congress established the first federal minimum wage in 1938, as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and has raised it 19 times since. More than 80 studies have demonstrated a link between an increase in the minimum wage and subsequent job loss, especially among teenagers and unskilled adults, the workers with the least skills, experience, and education.12 The more employers have to pay such workers, the less likely they are to employ them. Those workers may turn out to be productive employees, but they present risks to the employer so,

given the minimum price set by the state, the employer reduces risk by hiring only morequalified workers. Hyundais are less reliable automobiles than Hondas or Toyotas. If the Hyundais could not compete on the basis of a lower price, none would be bought. A review of the empirical research over the past quarter century supports that thesis. In 1977 Congress created a Minimum Wage Study Commission. Economists on the commission surveyed a broad range of studies and estimated that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage decreased teen employment by about 1 to 3 percent.13 One skeptical researcher not on the commission replicated the earlier studys methodology and found a teen job loss of 0.6 percent. Counterproductive Anti-Poverty Policy Advocates of the living wage argue that it combats poverty, but the evidence does not support that claim. First, the problem for low-income Americans is really insufficient hours rather than insufficient wages. A Bureau of Labor Statistics report revealed that in 2000 only 3.5 percent of all household heads who worked full-time 27 weeks or more over the course of the year fell below the poverty line. By contrast, this figure was 10.2 percent for household heads who worked less than 27 weeks.23 The BLS study also revealed that only a few more than 20 percent of all household heads with below-poverty-line incomes attributed their condition solely to low earnings. The remaining 80 percent cited unemployment, involuntary part-time employment, or one or both of those factors in combination with low earnings. Social Legislation pertaining to women 1. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 2. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 3. Sexual Harassment and Rape Laws 4. Right to Abortion


Subordination of women has led to violence under this head to rise. Incidence of domestic violence crosses all the barriers of class, income, rare, culture and religion and in a highly under reported crime. Domestic violence is one of the greatest obstacles to gender equality and securing for women their fundamental rights to equal protection under the law and the right to life and liberty. Provision under IPC which aims at protecting the Women: 1. Under Sec. 125, the wife can file a suit against her husband if the husband fails to maintain her. 2. Sec.375 and 376 specify the punishment for rape. 3. Under Sec.359-396, Kidnapping of women is punishable Sec.363 to 373 clarify as to what constitute kidnapping and abduction. 4. Sec.302/304 (b) Define the meaning and punishment relating to homicide for dowry, dowry death or their attempts. U/s 304 (b) death of a woman within seven years of her marriage shall be deemed to have been caused by any demand for dowry. 5. Sec.306 says that any person who commits suicide, whosoever abert the commission of such suicide is punishable with imprisonment up to 10 years and also fine. The offence is cognizable, non-bail able, non compoundable. 6. Under Sec.312 to 314, a person causing miscarriage be punished with imprisonment which may extend up to 3 years, or with fine or both. 7. Bigamy is an offence u/s 494. It is punishable with imprisonment for a term extending up to 7 years or with fine. 8. U/S 407, a person who commits adultery shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to 5 years or with fine or both. 9. U/S 498 (a) FIR can be lodged at any Police Station or a Women Cell for torture, both mental and physical by the husband or a in-laws. The offence is cognizable, non-bail able,

non compoundable. The punishment is imprisonment; which may extend up to 7 years with fine. 10. Importation of girl up to 21 years of age from a foreign country shall be punishable U/s 366 of IPC. The punishment can extend up to a term of 10 years and also fine. 11. Section 354 deals with outraging modesty of women. Any act of molestation with intent to outrage the modesty of a woman is punishable. 12. Section 509 is related to the suit of modesty of a woman (Sexual Harassment). Such an act shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend up to 10 years and also fine. ABORTION Abortion means the expulsion of a living fetus the mothers womb before it is viable. In medical parlance, according to Dr. Andre E. Hellegers, abortion is the termination of pregnancy spontaneously or by induction prior to viability. Thereafter, termination of pregnancy is called delivery. EFFECTS OF ABORTION TO THE WOMAN PHYSICAL: Woman may suffer habitual miscarriage Ectopic pregnancies Menstrual disturbances or discomfort Still births Bleeding Shock Insomnia PSYCHOLOGICAL: May manifest guilt Suicidal tendency

Loss of sense of fulfillment Loss of confidence Loss of appetite Coma Perforated anus Fever and cold sweat Intense pain Weight loss Frigidity Hostility Thwarted maternal instinct Self-destructive behavior Anger, rage Helplessness Loss of interest in sex Inability to forgive herself Intense interest in babies MORAL CONSIDERATIONS The direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral even when it is performed as a means to a good end. The magisterium of the church has consistently condemned abortion throughout history, even when the exact moment of fetus animation is still being disputed. The sanctity of human life demands that it must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being already possesses the rights of a person, among which is the inviolable right of every innocent human being. This alienable right must be recognized and

respected by civil society and political authority. Abortion destroys life and violates the right to life. As such it is morally evil and it should not be in any way legalized and liberally permitted in the laws and constitution of a nation. Abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes. We should reject abortion, unless for therapeutic reasons, for it is simply the murder of an innocent being. LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS PHILIPPINES: Article II, Section 12 of the 1986 Constitution provides that The State recognizes the sanctity of life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. Despite this position, however, the illegal practice of abortion continues and formal complaints against violators have yet to be filed in the Philippine courts. Based on the study conducted by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the number of cases of induced abortion in the Philippines ranges from 150,000 to 750,000 every year. In one Metro Manila hospital alone, 4,000 cases of abortion are undertaken annually. What usually happens is that illegal abortionists perform abortions outside, and when the woman suffers from profuse vaginal bleeding, she goes to a hospital for confinement. UNITED STATES: Roe v. Wade gave strength to a womans right to privacy in the context of matters relating to her own body, including how a pregnancy would end. However, the Supreme Court also has recognized the interest of the states in protecting potential life and has attempted to spell out the extent to which the states may regulate and even prohibit abortions. First trimester. In the first trimester the pregnancy starts with a fertilized egg that divides to become tissue and cleavage, which becomes an embryo. In these first three months the embryo goes through organogenesis and develops body organs, its heart beats after the fourth week, brain waves

can be monitored after six weeks, and by the eighth week all major body parts are present. At the end of the trimester the embryo has matured into a fetus. The decision to undergo an abortion procedure is between the woman and her physician. Second trimester. During the second trimester the fetus grows from the approximately 5cm it was at the end of the first trimester to about 30cm long. It also begins to move as it is continuing to mature. During approximately the fourth to sixth months of pregnancy, the state may regulate the medical conditions under which the procedure is performed. The constitutional test of any legislation would be its relevance to the objective of protecting maternal health. Third trimester. By the third trimester it becomes fully-grown, completely fills the capacity of the womb, and fully matured at about 50cm long. Since the heart has been beating since the beginning of the first trimester, a fetus in the stages of the second and third trimesters are almost always considered alive and, therefore, state property to some extent unless there are extenuating circumstances. During the final stage of pregnancy, a state may prohibit all abortions except those deemed necessary to protect maternal life or health. UNITED KINGDOM: There are two key statutes relevant to abortion: the Offences Against the Person Act and the Abortion Act. The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 remains the definitive law in England. It gives statutory grounds to the effect that abortion is a crime except where subsequent legislation provides protection against criminal prosecution. The Abortion Act (1967), amended 1990 The Abortion Act was designed to tackle two main issues. The first was increasing concern at the number of back street abortions, despite their being illegal. These were often medically quite unsafe, and an increasing number of women were being admitted to hospital with complications from such abortions. The second was the lack of clarity over the question of when a doctor could carry out an abortion for the sake of the mothers health. Prior to 24 weeks a doctor may carry out

an abortion, with the womans consent, on very wide grounds. After 24 weeks abortion is only lawful either to prevent risk of considerable harm to the mother, or for the sake of the fetus. Except in an emergency two doctors are required to be of the opinion that abortion is justified n one of the grounds stated in the Act. It is generally assumed that when the Act states that pregnancy has not exceeded its 24th week it means 24 weeks since the first day of the womans last period. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS There are specific laws that pertain to abortion. Certain laws even permit abortion within a maximum time limit. They state that abortion is possible only up to a certain stage during pregnancy and should essentially be at the womans request. Abortion is allowed only for medical reasons in very exceptional circumstances, e.g., to save the mothers life. Today, with the legislation and positive authorization of abortion in some cases, things have changed. A review of the legal proceedings of those countries which have legalized abortion show some differences in modalities, which can be observed upon reading the World Health Organization chronicle of 1976. This chronicle summarizes the conditions or situations in which the legislation of different countries authorizes the practice of abortion. Such situations are When the mother is authorized to safeguard her physical and mental health; When pregnancy is the consequence of rape or incest, or when it occurs in minors; When the mother contracts sub-cola during a critical stage of gestation or has been exposed to other risks which can lead to defective fetal development; When Downs syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities are diagnosed through amniocentesis; and When the parents are mentally deficient and considered incapable of adequately rearing a child.

MATERNAL FETAL RELATIONS Legal considerations Over the last decade a number of cases have been heard in the courts concerning the legality of enforcing a caesarian section n an unwilling woman. Most cases have been heard in great haste, and without legal representation for the pregnant woman. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists produced guidelines that stated: Obstetricians must respect the womans legal liberty to ignore or reject professional advice. We conclude that it is inappropriate., to invoke judicial intervention to overrule an informed and competent womans refusal to treatment, even though that refusal might place her life and that of her fetus at risk. The courts have interpreted common law as giving a competent woman the right to refuse treatment even where the life of the fetus is at grave risk. However, they fall over backwards to find the woman incompetent in order, perhaps, to justify saving the fetus, and perhaps on the view that the woman will be glad afterwards that that was the decision taken. Ethical considerations In thinking about the ethical issues raised by decisions or interventions in reproductive medicine it is important to distinguish between an identity-preserving and an identity-altering intervention or decision. An example of an identity-preserving intervention is when a pregnant women drinks large amount of alcohol. If the child is subsequently born with some brain damage as a result, it has been harmed by the mothers alcohol intake. An example of an identity-altering decision is when a woman decides to delay reproduction from, for example, 30 years to age 40 years. A different child will be born as a result of her decision. Suppose that she has a child (child a) at age 40 that is born with Downs syndrome. The likelihood is that, had she conceived a child at age 30, it would not have suffered from

Downs syndrome. Has Child A been harmed as a result of her decision to delay reproduction? The decision has altered the identity of the child who is born. Had she conceived at the age 30 she would have given birth to a different child. Because child A would not have come to existence at all, had she not decided to delay reproduction, it is not clear that child A has been harmed by having Downs syndrome as a result of her decision. On one view of harm, the decision could only have harmed child A if it would have been better for A not to have existed at all than to exist with Downs Syndrome. Children in situations of crime and exploitation Recognizing the flaws of the 1986 Juvenile Justice Act, the government passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000. But the knee jerk reaction in amending the law without a wider discussion and consultation with child rights practitioners has left many who are concerned with children and work with them deeply distressed. In 2003 the government drafted amendments to the law. But, because of criticisms and concerns raised by several organizations and groups, it has been placed before a Parliamentary Standing Committee. The Committee is currently reviewing the law. The Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation Act) was enacted in 1986, to specifically address the situation of children in labor. However, this law distinguishes between hazardous and nonhazardous forms of labor, and identifies certain processes and occupations from which children are prohibited from working. It leaves out a large range of activities that children are engaged in and are exploited and abused. The largescale exploitation and abuse of children employed in domestic work and hotels are cases in point. Child trafficking is one of the most heinous manifestations of violence against children. This is taking on alarming proportions - nationally and internationally. Although, very little reliable data or documentation is available, meetings and consultations across the country have revealed the gravity and the extent of this crime. It is high time we understood and realised that children are trafficked for a number of reasons and this cannot be treated

synonymously with prostitution. The absence of this comprehensive understanding and a comprehensive law that addresses all forms of trafficking to back it makes this issue even more critical. Adoption: The need for greater checks and balances Adoption is one of the best and appropriate forms of alternative family care. Indeed, it is the only way to break the mindset of institutional care for children, which has been posed as the only solution for many years. However, adoption of children continues to be determined by religion of the adoptive parents or the child when religion is known. Only Hindus, Janis, Buddhists and Sikhs can adopt children. The personal laws of other religions - Muslims, Parses, and Jews do not allow it. Even as it exists for Hindus, the law has serious flaws discriminating against married women. It allows only married men to adopt. Further, it only allows for adoption of children of opposite genders. Legal Literacy A citizen should be aware of his rights. He may know that he has a right to a ration card. But he doesn't know how to get it in a reasonable time if he loses it. Similarly, the question of personal liberty. He doesn't know what to do if a constable comes calling. There are so many procedural things courts have laid down. It is in these matters regarding life and liberties that legal literacy is not realized. Legislation like the Right to Information Act will be blocked by bureaucrats if people don't know its provisions and procedures. If there is an enlightened citizenry such things will not happen. Marriages-Divorces India being a cosmopolitan country tolerates personal laws of its citizen. As a result each citizen of India is entitled to have his own personal laws inter alia in the matter of marriage and divorce. Hindus are governed by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which provides for the conditions of a Hindu Marriage where under the bridegroom should be of 21 years and bride

of 18 years, they both should be Hindus and should not be within the degree of prohibited relationship or sapindas, neither party should have a spouse living nor any party should be subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy, either of them should not be suffering from mental disorders or should not be unfit for marriage and procreation of children and both should be of sound mind and capable of giving valuable consent. Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 can be obtained on the grounds of Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion for two years, Conversion in religion, Unsound mind, Suffering from venereal disease and/or Leprosy has renounced the world not heard for 7 years no resumption of co-habitation for one year after the decree of judicial separation, no restitution of conjugal rights for one year after decree for restitution of conjugal rights, Husband guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality and if after an order of maintenance is passed under the Hindu Maintenance and Adoptions Act or the Criminal Procedure Code there has been no cohabitation for one year. Drugs and the Law A policy that sets drugs in context and seeks above all to reduce drug-related harm needs a new legal framework to reflect these objectives. In our view, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Classification system it embodies achieves neither of these aims. The Act, and all the later legislation following on from it, should be repealed and superseded by a new Misuse of Substances Act that: sets drugs in the wider context of substance misuse alongside alcohol and tobacco; is linked directly to a scientifically based index that makes clear the relative risks of harm from individual substances; seeks to punish harmful behaviors stemming from drug use rather than the simple possession of drugs. Regulating alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs all within the same framework would have an integrity and credibility that the present system lacks. Centering the framework on a harms index that can be changed in order to reflect the latest

developments and the most recent research would give it both authority and flexibility. A framework of this kind would be a neutral instrument. It could be used either to relax or to tighten the regulation of individual substances. Some drugs that are currently illegal could be brought under the same kind of regulation that is now used to control comparably harmful but legal substances; for example, milder forms of cannabis might be regulated in much the same way as tobacco. Conversely, some drugs whose current regulation is elastic and discretionary might be more strictly controlled alongside substances that inflict similar amounts of harm; for example, the stronger forms of skunk cannabis might be regulated alongside amphetamines instead of Valium. Not all members of the Commission, like many in the arena of drugs policy, are agreed on whether or not any particular drug should be legalized, or even on whether the possession and use of anydrug should be treated as a civil rather than a criminal offence. But they have refrained from trying to settle these narrower issues in order to advocate the broader principle of a new legal framework to replace one that is manifestly failing in its aims. The UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 requires its 180 signatories to declare illegal the cultivation, manufacture, export, import, distribution, sale and possession of the major plant-based drugs heroin, opium, cocaine and cannabis other than for scientific and medical purposes. There are wide variations in the way in which the Convention is interpreted by its signatories, but it remains the framework within which drugs policy makers are on the whole constrained to operate. The 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances adds LSD, ecstasy and other psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs to the list of substances to be controlled. The 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances strengthens existing provisions against money laundering, directs signatories to cooperate in tracing and seizing drug-related assets and inserts the requirement that they should impose criminal penalties for all drug offences, including possession of drugs for personal use.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Britain fulfils its obligations under these UN Conventions mainly through the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA), which makes it unlawful to produce, import, export, supply or possess anything designated as a controlled drug unless an exception or exemption applies. Controlled drugs are listed in Schedule 2 to the Act. Beside the best known illicit drugs, the list includes a large number of drugs that are used mainly for medical purposes but that may also be used recreationally: Ritalin, for example, which is prescribed in order to dampen down hyperactivity but abused for precisely the opposite reason. The idea of controlling these commonly prescribed drugs is to protect their licit use (in the interests both of public health and of the pharmaceutical industry) while at the same time restricting their illicit use. To enable doctors, dentists, pharmacists, researchers and others to prescribe and handle these drugs for medical purposes, the Home Secretary makes exemptions to the Act under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.


BOOKS 1. Ethics for life - Judith A. Boss 2. Government ethics and law enforcement- El-Ayouty 3. Natural law and the possibility of a global ethics- By Mark J. Cherry

Articles in newspapers
1. The Tribune 2. Hindustan Times 3. The Hindu

1. India today 2. Business today