Chief Justice of India Advocates Stress Management and Work-Life Balance for Judicial Officers

Published on: March 24, 2024 at 14:30 IST

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud emphasized the critical importance of stress management and work-life balance for judicial officers, highlighting a recent incident of trolling and ‘vicious abuse’ he faced. Speaking at the 21st Biennial State Level Conference of Judicial Officers titled, “Equity and Excellence for Futuristic Judiciary,” organized by the Karnataka State Judicial Officer’s Association, the CJI addressed the challenges faced by judges in maintaining their well-being amidst their professional responsibilities.

The CJI recalled an incident where he faced severe trolling for adjusting his seating position during a hearing due to discomfort, underscoring the need for judicial officers to manage stress effectively. He stressed that stress management is particularly significant for district judges who regularly interact with vulnerable litigants, many of whom are distressed by perceived injustices.

Justice Chandrachud emphasized the need for understanding when litigants or lawyers ‘cross the line’ in their interactions with judges, attributing such behavior to deep-rooted injustices they may be confronting. He advocated for a compassionate approach rather than resorting to the power of contempt, urging judicial officers to recognize the underlying grievances and address them with empathy.

Maintaining a work-life balance was highlighted as integral to fulfilling judicial duties effectively, with Justice Chandrachud cautioning against overwhelming workloads that may impede personal time with family and self-care. He underscored that the ability to manage stress and achieve work-life balance is intertwined with delivering justice completely, drawing parallels with the imperative for physicians and surgeons to prioritize self-care in their healing professions.

Sharing a personal experience of facing trolling for a minor adjustment during a live-streamed hearing, the CJI emphasized the need for judicial officers to prioritize their well-being amidst professional demands. He reiterated the importance of self-care and stress management in maintaining judicial effectiveness and urged officers to prioritize their mental and physical health.

The remarks by Chief Justice Chandrachud shed light on the challenges faced by judicial officers and underscore the imperative for institutional support and personal well-being in the pursuit of justice.

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