New Delhi, August 16
The Supreme Court on Wednesday launched a handbook on combating gender stereotypes that would guide judges to avoid the usage of inappropriate gender terms in court orders and legal language.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said the guidebook is to identify and eliminate the usage of words and phrases that carry gender biases within court orders and legal language.
It helps judges identify and avoid such stereotypes by first-identifying language which promotes gender stereotypes and offering alternative words and phrases, CJI said.
CJI further said, “This is to assist judges and the legal community to identify, understand, and combat stereotypes about women in legal discourse. It contains a glossary of gender unjust terms and suggests alternative words and phrases which may be used while drafting pleadings as well as orders and judgements. It is for lawyers as well as judges.”
The handbook identifies common stereotypes by women, many of which have been utilised by courts in the past and demonstrates why they are inaccurate and how they may distort the application of the law, CJI Chandrachud said.
“The intention is not to criticise or cast doubts on judgments but merely to show how stereotypes may unwittingly be employed.
To raise awareness against the utilization of harmful stereotypes, particularly those against women, the handbook aims to explain what stereotypes are”, CJI added.
He further revealed that the manual and the tutorial for e-filing have been uploaded on the Supreme Court’s website and would be followed by the handbook.
The handbook was uploaded to the Supreme Court website. The link to the handbook is https://main.sci.gov.in/pdf/LU/16082023_073106.pdf.