Logic, problem-solving and coding: The 21st Century Lawyer
By Prof. Nishant Sheokand
 
     
 

Most lawyers should approach programming with the goal of becoming “coding literate”—becoming fluent in the language of coding, to the extent that best serves them.

There was a time when computer science was a fairly discrete field. Coding was a skill used almost exclusively for programming jobs, and foreign to those of us without a computer science degree. In our digital age, however, things have changed. “Programming for lawyers” doesn’t sound as outrageous as it once may have used to. While the long-running debate on whether lawyers should learn to code and whether it should be taught in law schools continues, it’s becoming increasingly clear that having at least some knowledge of coding is useful for attorneys.

In the world of Meta, NFTs, and data problems, by developing a basic understanding of programming, you’re more likely to be able to use legal technology to a fuller extent. Learning to code can help lawyers to better understand the realm of the possible when it comes to tools that can help their practice. By knowing what you can do with the tools you have and knowing what kind of tools are available to you, you can be a better member of interdisciplinary teams. And, if you’re hiring actual coders to customize programs for your firm, you’ll have the language to be able to ask for (and get) what you want. It means being able to speak both the languages of tech and law, and know what the realm of the possible is on the tech side, and what the constraints are on the legal side so that you can go in and you can say, ‘Well, I need something that does this and I know that you should be able to do that because I’ve seen these three other things. I don’t know exactly how to do it, but I know it’s possible and I know it’s not magical thinking.’

How lawyers and coders are two sides of the same coin?

 
     
 
Lawyers are problem-solvers—so are coders
Lawyers use language and logic—so do coders
Lawyers use types of math, science, and logical thinking skills in their practice—they just might not realize that they’re using the same skills as coders.
 
     
 

Even if you don’t want to become a full-on lawyer computer programmer, coding and computer science are areas worth exploring so that you can better embrace innovation and position yourself within the fast-evolving legal industry. And, remember: you don’t have to be an expert to reap benefits. Learning the basics of computer programming while taking advantage of tools and technology can be enough to give you a step up in the field.

 
 

“Go solve the legal problems of the world and then write the codes that a computer can understand to solve the human problems.”
 
 
 

Nishant Sheokand

 
     
     
     
  M.C. Mehta & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors 1986 (Oleum Gas Leak Case)
By Shambhavi Thakur  
 
     
 

M.C. Mehta & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors (1986) also known as the Oleum Gas Leak Case is a landmark ruling by the Indian Supreme Court which propounded the principle of absolute liability for industries engaged in inherently harmful activities. In this case, the petitioner initially submitted a Writ Petition before the Indian SC for the closure and relocation of Shriram Caustic Chlorine and Sulphuric Acid Plant. During the pendency of the writ, there were two gas leak instances, one major and another minor. This resultantly caused great harm and panic amongst the residents of the area. While there were many issues that the court addressed, in this piece we will only be looking at the evolution of the absolute liability principle under Indian Law.

This case pitched the question of economic development against ecological damage. The Supreme Court has attached absolute liability to industries that carry out inherently hazardous activity. Building upon the famous tort law case of Rylands v Fletcher which laid down the principle of strict liability, the court removed all the exceptions and defenses attached to strict liability and applied it as a no fault-based liability i.e., absolute liability in the Indian context.

The SC in the case of Oleum Gas Leak Case, introduced absolute liability for industries engaged in inherently hazardous activities. The underlying logic was that an industry which is permitted to carry on any hazardous or inherently dangerous activity for profit, the law must presume that such a permission is incidental upon the enterprise bearing the cost of any accident arising on account of such hazardous activity. Therefore, the industry must pay damages which correspond to the damage that they have caused and should also be exemplary in nature so as to act as a deterrent.

The principle of absolute liability has been upheld in all following environment law cases while attributing liability to polluting industries.

 
     
     
 
  Climate Change Litigation and Human Rights
By Shambhavi Thakur

“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire because it is.”
 
 

~Greta Thunberg, 19-year-old Swedish Activist

 
     
 

This sense of panic communicated by the activist is echoed everywhere globally, from scientists to international leaders. Yet, the pace at which the countries are adopting adaptation and mitigation strategies is excruciatingly slow. To work around this sluggish response, scientists, activists, and advocates have begun to utilize climate change litigation. It is an emerging field of environmental law that focuses on the use of domestic and international legal systems for climate change mitigation. It generally makes use of constitutional law, administrative law, private law, fraud or consumer protection, and human rights. In this issue, we will explore how climate change litigation is instituted via a human rights approach.

In recent decades, Environmental Protection has found a stronghold in the Human Rights regime. Many international cases such as Lopez Ostra, Ogoni Case, etc. have recognized the link between environmental protection and safeguarding human rights. However, this development may have certain disadvantages. This recognition places a link requirement between environmental degradation and the impairment of a protected right. Therefore, a human rights approach protects the environment only when it is necessary for safeguarding protected human interests.

Internationally, there are two major human rights considerations from a climate change and environment protection perspective, health, and cultural rights. In the above mentioned cases, amongst many others, the courts have ruled how the right to a clean environment affects the right to health, livelihood, and property, the right to culture, the importance of consultation and public participation, and the endangerment of private and family life without necessarily affecting their health. They have also held that having a meaningful life includes access to a clean and unpolluted environment.

But localized interests do not help institute mitigation and adaptation measures by States for the larger issue of Climate Change. This is primarily because of the difficulty in establishing the link between the actions of the state, the slow onset of extreme climatic conditions, and the resultant harm to the rights of the claimants. This link of causality is often reduced to mere correlation in the context of climate change due to the lack of certain scientific evidence.

However, while a human rights approach to environmental protection is of limited utility, it’s not completely without value. By trying to neutralize polluting elements which affect human health and incidental rights, activists and advocates have been able to institute some environmental protection and climate change mitigation measures.

In the next issue we see how the climate change litigation makes use of the other four fields, so, stay tuned!


 
     
 


Strange law
 

 
     
 

Get Jailed for Handling a Salmon in Suspicious Circumstances

 
  By Shambhavi Thakur  
     
 
 

For all the macch bhaath and fish curry enthusiasts, this is for you, especially when traveling to England and Wales. Imagine you are holding a fish. Now imagine, you are in prison for doing so! As per the heading of Section 32 of the famous Salmon Act (1986), it is an offense in England and Wales to hold salmon in suspicious circumstances.

 
     
 

It reads that it is illegal for any person to receive or dispose of Salmon in circumstances where they believe or could reasonably believe that the Salmon has been illegally fished.

As amusing as the heading sounds at first, the underlying context as deciphered by the experts, is quite thoughtful. It’s intended to prevent the selling of Salmon gained through illicit means.

 
     
     
     
  J. D.Y. Chandrachud
By Mr. Rishabh Bhandari
 
 

“Our ability to recognize others who are different is a sign of our own evolution. We miss the symbols of a compassionate and humane society only at our peril”
 
 
 

Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud

 
     
 

Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud is the son of the 16th and longest-serving Chief Justice of India, Justice YV Chandrachud. Justice Chandrachud, or ‘DYC’, as he is referred to in legal circles, completed his LLB at Delhi University. Then, he studied at Harvard University after receiving the prestigious Inlaks Scholarship. At Harvard, he completed his Masters-in-Law (LLM) and Doctorate in Juridical Sciences (SJD).

He has practiced as an advocate in the Supreme Court and the High Courts of Gujarat, Calcutta, Allahabad, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi before becoming a judge of the Bombay High Court. It has been a long journey for this erudite 56-year-old since he has been appointed as a judge of the Bombay high court on March 29, 2000. He spent a little over 13 years as a judge before getting appointed as the chief justice of Allahabad HC, which is the largest in the country, having a sanctioned judge strength of 160. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on May 13, 2016, and is likely to serve as the 50th Chief Justice of India from November 2022.

While he has been on benches that have delivered more than 220 judgments, his libertarian approach is relatively uncommon in the Indian judiciary. He has been a part of the landmark judgments on privacy, euthanasia, decriminalization of homosexuality, adultery, entry of women into Sabarimala, the Hadiya case, the medical college cases, and the PIL on mandatorily playing the national anthem in cinema halls. Some of his notable decisions which evolved perceptions are:

K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India,(2017) 10 SCC 1

“While the legitimate expectation of privacy may vary from the intimate zone to the private zone and from the private to the public arenas, it is important to underscore that privacy is not lost or surrendered merely because the individual is in a public place. Privacy attaches to the person since it is an essential facet of the dignity of the human being”

Mahendra K.C.V. State of Karnataka, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1021

“The mental health of a person cannot be compressed into a one size fits all approach”. “Individual personality differences manifest as a variation in the behavior of people. Therefore, how an individual copes up with a threat- both physical and emotional, expressing (or refraining to express) love, loss, sorrow, and happiness, varies greatly in view of the multi-faceted nature of the human mind and emotions.”

 
 
 
     
  News & Events  
     
 

Kick-Start Kanyathon 2022

We flagged off Kanyathon 2022, which as annual charity event, at Vijaybhoomi University. The underlying purpose of this run was to address issues that hinder the growth and progress of female children in our country.

Access here:
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ifim-law-school_ifim-ifiminstitutions-bangalore-activity-6916708554116648960-K7fV?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=member_desktop_web


 

International Forest Week

We celebrated International forest week where our Alumni of IFIM Law School planted saplings in their gardens and led by example for others.

The occasion of world forest day is a reminder to everyone that humans have cut enough forests and now we need to plant more trees. "Look deep into Nature and then you will understand everything better".

Access at:
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ifim-law-school_planting-forests-forestday2022-activity-6914908291189932032-cpwE?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=member_desktop_web

 

Runners Up of Louis M Brown and Forrest S Mosten International Client Consultation Competition

Ms. Nazneen and Mr. Nimit Jain (3rd-year BB.A LL.B students) emerged as Runners Up of Louis M Brown and Forrest S Mosten International Client Consultation Competition, 2022 organized by HNLU Raipur from 5th to 6th March 2022.

A Client Counselling Competition for law students was first established in 1969 by Louis M Brown. It was adopted by The American Bar Association in 1972 and the International Competition was inaugurated in 1985. The International Competition was named after Louis M Brown in 1993 in recognition of the inspiration he provided as originator of the competition.

Access at:
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ifim-law-school_clat2022-lsatprep-ifim-activity-6906477450969124865-Nwoi?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=member_desktop_web

 

Editorial Team:
Chief Editor: Prof. Nishant Sheokand
Managing Editor: Shambhavi Thakur
Executive Editor: Mr. Rishabh Bhandari