Supreme Court issues new guidelines for designation of Senior Advocates

Daily News Analysis 25th July, 23

  1. Supreme Court issues new guidelines for designation of  Senior Advocates
  2. 5 crore Indians escape Multidimensional Poverty in  the past five years
  3. UK signs ‘biggest trade deal’ since Brexit

Supreme Court issues new guidelines for designation of Senior Advocates

Relevance: Prelims & Mains Paper II; Governance

Why in news? Details
Ø  The Supreme Court has published new guidelines for the designation of senior advocates practicing mainly in the Apex Court.

Ø  These guidelines come after the May 12 ruling in a case seeking modification in the conferment of ‘senior advocate’ designation guidelines rendered in a 2017 SC ruling.

Ø  In doing so, the Bench, replaced the guidelines issued by the top court in 2018, in the aftermath of its 2017 ruling in Indira Jaisingh v. Union of India.



Ø  The new guidelines prescribe the minimum age as 45 years to apply for the ‘senior advocate’ designation. This age limit May, however, be relaxed by the Committee, the Chief Justice of India, or a Supreme Court judge if they have recommended an advocate’s name.

Ø  Although the 2017 guidelines say that the CJI along with “any judge” can recommend an advocate’s name for designation, the 2023 guidelines specify that the CJI along with “any Judge of the Supreme Court” may recommend in writing the name of an advocate for designation.

Ø  Previously, the guidelines stated that 15 marks were set aside for publications.

Ø  However, the new guidelines state that only 5 marks will be given for “publication of academic articles, experience of teaching assignments in the field of law,” and “guest lectures delivered in law schools and professional institutions connected with law” combined.

Ø  Besides this, the weightage given to reported and unreported judgements has increased from 40 to 50 points in the new guidelines.



The 2018 guidelines Why are they being changed?
Ø  In 2018, the Apex Court released a list of guidelines to regulate the conferment of designation of senior advocates. It did so while acting on a plea filed by India’s first woman Senior Advocate, Indira Jaising, for greater transparency in the designation process.

Ø  The guidelines discouraged the system of ‘voting by secret ballot”, except in cases where it was “unavoidable.”

Ø  A CJI-chaired committee was created and empowered with powers of conferment. The CJI or any other judge could recommend the name of an advocate for designation.

Ø  Alternatively, advocates could submit their applications to the “Permanent Secretariat”, which would evaluate them on criteria like 10–20 years of legal practice, be it as an advocate, district judge, or judicial member of an Indian tribunal.


Ø  In 2023, the Central Govt. sought to change guidelines for the designation of senior lawyers, issued by the SC after the 2017 ruling.

Ø  It argued that the “point based system” which awarded 40% weightage to publications, personality, and suitability gauged through the interview is subjective, ineffective, and dilutes the “esteem and dignity of the honour being conferred traditionally.”

Ø  The application pointed to the rampant circulation of “bogus” and “sham” journals where people could publish their articles without any academic evaluation of the contents and quality of the articles, by “paying a nominal amount”.

Ø  Further, the Centre argued that the current requirements for designation are “extraneous” and have resulted in “ousting otherwise eligible candidates”.



Ø  Finally, the application sought to reinstate the rule of a simple majority by a secret ballot, where the judges can express their views about the suitability of any candidate “without any embarrassment,” reasoning that the secret ballot will minimise campaigning for votes by lawyers.

Ø  In its May 12 ruling, the top court upheld the interview criteria followed by High Courts and the Supreme Court for designating lawyers as senior advocates but reduced the 15 marks given for the number of publications to 5 marks. The court also clarified that voting by secret ballot was meant to be used in exceptional circumstances.

Ø  The court also said that the criteria should not just be restricted to authorship of academic articles but instead “must also include teaching assignments or guest courses delivered by advocates at law schools”.


13.5 crore Indians escape Multidimensional Poverty in the past   five years

Relevance: Prelims & Mains Paper I; Social Issues


Why in news? Details
Ø  A record 13.5 crore people moved out of multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21 as per NITI Aayog’s Report ‘National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2023.

Ø  This 2nd edition of MPI is based on the latest National Family Heath Survey [NFHS-5 (2019- 21)].

Ø  The National MPI measures simultaneous deprivations across the three equally weighted dimensions of health, education, and standard of living that are represented by 12 SDG-aligned indicators.

Ø  These include nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts. Marked improvement is witnessed across all the 12 indicators.

Ø  These include nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts. Marked improvement is witnessed across all the 12 indicators.

Ø  The rural areas witnessed the fastest decline in poverty from 32.59% to 19.28%. During the same period, the urban areas saw a reduction in poverty from 8.65% to 5.27%. Uttar Pradesh registered the largest decline in number of poor with 3.43 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty.



Ø  The fastest reduction in the proportion of multidimensional poor was observed in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan.

Ø  Between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the MPI value has nearly halved  from 0.117 to 0.066 and the intensity of poverty has reduced  from 47% to 44%,

Ø  It will help India in achieving the SDG Target 1.2 (of reducing multidimensional poverty by at least half) much ahead of the stipulated timeline of 2030.


UK signs ‘biggest trade deal’ since Brexit

Relevance: Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics



Why in news? What is CPTPP?
Ø  The United Kingdom has signed a treaty to join a major Indo-Pacific bloc — what it said was the biggest trade deal since the country left the European Union at the beginning of 2020.

Ø  A British govt. analysis that says the pact would boost UK exports by 1.7 billion pounds ($2.23 billion), imports to the UK by 1.6 billion pounds and gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.8 billion pounds in the long term.

Ø  The pact is expected to take effect in the second half of 2024.



Ø  The CPTPP is a landmark pact agreed upon in 2018 that cuts trade barriers among 11 countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Ø  The pact requires countries to eliminate or significantly reduce tariffs and make strong commitments to opening services and investment markets.

Ø  It also has rules addressing competition, intellectual property rights and protections for foreign companies. CPTPP is seen as a bulwark against China’s dominance in the region,  although the latter has applied to join, along with Taiwan,  Ukraine, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Ecuador.

Ø  Politicians in several countries, including the UK and Australia, are lobbying to keep China out, while China is trying to prevent Taiwan from joining.



Significance for U.K
Ø  CPTTP will cut tariffs for UK exports to Asia Pacific countries. With UK membership, the trading bloc will have a combined GDP of 12 trillion pounds and account for 15% of global trade.

Ø  Britain is keen to deepen trade ties in the Pacific after Brexit in 2020. Since Brexit, it has sought other trade deals with countries and trading blocs around the world that the govt says have faster-growing economies than the EU.

Ø  However, U.K. will likely struggle to achieve free trade deals with large powers like China in the near term and even its closest ally, the U.S. has said further trade liberalization with Britain is currently off the table.

Ø  Critics say CPTTP and other deals will struggle to compensate for the economic damage sustained by leaving the now-27-member EU — the world’s largest trading bloc and collective economy. As per estimates, UK’s long-term productivity is forecast to be reduced by 4% as a result of Brexit.

Ø  The UK already has trade deals with 10 of the 11 other CPTPP members and the eventual economic boost is likely to increase GDP by just 0.08% annually.

Ø  In 2022, Britain exported 340 billion pounds of goods and services to the EU, 42% of total UK exports.

Ø  Half of global growth is forecast to come from the Indo-Pacific by mid-2030 and growth will continue into the middle of  the century.


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