The decisions of the courts have always been considered sacrosanct and are debated before delivery in a shroud of secrecy and mystery. Judges are seen as the sole authority on interpretation of law, which is rightfully their part to play in the country’s legal system, but with that said, provision of justice does not need to be made so enigmatic for the layman. Throughout the world, where everything else strives to be according to the times and up-to-date, the judicial system of every country attempts to preserve elements of tradition steeped in antiquity, from maintaining the ancient white wig for judges in the British system, to restricting the use of technological devices such as computers and mobile phones in courts.

The inner workings of the court are considered to be too complex to understand for the public, which is odd considering that justice seems to be a simple concept concerning every individual, not just the experts.

The law banning video and sound recording of court proceedings in Britain was lifted and the first court proceeding was filmed by television crews on the 31st of October. The law, in place since 1925, has been lifted to demystify the process of courts, to enable the public to understand and accept the judicial system more conveniently. It’s great that Britain is realizing the need for making justice more transparent, and Pakistan would do well to employ the same methods. The inscrutable nature of courts is even more pronounced here than it is in developed countries. Our judicial system is always thought of as appealing to populist tendencies, and with the addition of comments taken out of context, the resulting mix is a distorted version of reality.

To start with, trials that are keenly followed, such as those setting legal precedence, or those dealing with issues of public interest, deserve to be seen during the court procedure. The exalted status of courts, with much quotations and reporting, but not much visibility, has done nothing but muddle the perception of justice in the minds of the public.

To restore the tarnished credibility of the judiciary, and in the interest of transparency, maybe it will help the court to publicize their proceedings and to establish the contextual basis for their decisions. The authority of judges is not under question, and instead it would be even more firmly legitimized if people are able to comprehend the legal basis for decisions and come to terms with the fact that the court’s job is not to pander to public sentiment, but instead dispense justice which stems from a keen understanding of jurisprudence and an uncompromising adherence to the inviolable constitution.