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Faculty Seminar | Open Courts and the Regulatory Framework for Judicial Data

January 27, 2022

The Faculty Seminar will be held on January 27, 2022. The paper is authored by Aakansha Mishra and Sidharth Mandrekar Rao (DAKSH).


Aakanksha Mishra, Dual Qualified Attorney (India and New York) | Law and Policy | Masters in International Trade Law

Siddharth Mandrekar Rao, DAKSH’S research associate


This paper is the second in the series of Discussion Papers on Judicial Data Regulation. The first paper1(henceforth ‘Paper I’) discusses how the Indian judiciary traditionally balanced the principle of open courts with the right to privacy and highlights the concerns around judicial data in the electronic age. This paper proposes a framework for the regulation of judicial data and access to court records. The approach in this framework continues to further the goals of open justice and transparency, while addressing the concerns of privacy that the digital environment has given rise to. Privacy issues are heightened in the digitisation age due to the loss of practical obscurity that was available in the paper-based judicial system. The proposed framework and solutions will address the problems keeping in mind not only the progress in digitalisation made by the Indian judiciary thus far but also take into consideration the potential challenges that may arise as the technological upgradation of the Indian judiciary matures in the future to its fullest potential.

Chapter II establishes that as a starting point, the development of information systems within the judiciary must be based on a sound understanding of the distinctive requirements and expectations of a judicial system, and the principle of open courts. In Chapter III, we discuss the application of the two recently proposed data protection frameworks, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (PDP Bill) and the Draft Report by the Committee of Experts on Non-Personal Data Governance Framework, in the judicial sector. In doing so, we aim to illustrate how conventional approaches to data protection are inadequate for judicial data. Chapter IV provides detailed recommendations on how judicial data should be regulated, encompassing classes of data, roles in relation to it, means of regulation, rights and responsibilities in relation to the data and a roadmap towards arriving at a regulatory framework.

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