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Report No. 99

2.10. The pros and cons considered.-

On a careful consideration of the views expressed on the question of limiting the time for oral arguments, we find that the re-action on the subject has been a mixed one. The reduction to time in oral arguments would-it is obvious-facilitate greater disposal, provided the parties have placed before the Court their submissions in clear and succinct-and not too prolix-manner. This, of course, pre-supposes that the written arguments are, on the one hand, not slip-shod or skimpy and, on the other hand, not long-winded or rambling. It further pre-supposes-and this a still more important consideration-that the Judges are given sufficient time to go through the written arguments, and (if they so desire) some research assistance in the shape of editing and checking the written arguments is made available. If these pre-requisites can be created and maintained, the case for limiting the time taken in oral arguments appears to be a fairly plausible one.

At the same time, we find that there is considerable opposition to such a proposal, from many quarters. There is an understandable feeling that something of the element of directness and immediacy that one finds in oral arguments would be lost, if time limits are imposed. It also appears from the replies received that many knowledgeable persons are of the opinion that to cut down the time for oral argument would lead to serious injustice. We appreciate that any system that can be suggested regarding the mode of presentation of cases in court would be difficult to work effectively, if those called upon to participate in its working are not mentally attuned to it and have serious misgivings about its soundness on the merits.

Oral and Written Arguments in the Higher Courts Back

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