Declaration of Delhi

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Declaration of Delhi  (1959) 
by International Congress of Jurists

This International Congress of Jurists, consisting of 185 judges, practising lawyers and teachers of law from 53 countries, assembled in New Delhi in January 1959 under the aegis of the International Commission of Jurists, having discussed freely and frankly the Rule of Law and the administration of justice throughout the world, and having reached conclusions regarding the legislative, the executive, the criminal process, the judiciary and the legal profession, (which conclusions are annexed to this Declaration),

Now solemnly

Reaffirms the principles expressed in the Act of Athens adopted by the International Congress of Jurists in 1955, particularly that independent judiciary and legal profession are essential to the maintenance of the Rule of Law and to the proper administration of justice;

Recognises that the Rule of Law is a dynamic concept for the expansion and fulfilment of which jurists are primarily responsible and which should be employed not only to safeguard and advance the civil and political rights of the individual in a free society, but also to establish social, economic, educational and cultural conditions under which his legitimate aspirations and dignity may be realised;

Calls on the jurists in all countries to give effect in their own communities to the principles expressed in the conclusions of the Congress; and finally

Requests the International Commission of Jurists

  • 1. To employ its full resources to give practical effect throughout the world to the principles expressed in the conclusions of the Congress.
  • 2. To give special attention and assistance to countries now in the process of establishing, reorganising or consolidating their political and legal institutions.
  • 3. To encourage law students and the junior members of the legal profession to support the Rule of Law.
  • 4. To communicate this Declaration and the annexed conclusions to governments, to interested international organisations, and to associations of lawyers throughout the world.

This Declaration shall be known as the Declaration of Delhi.

Done at Delhi this 10th day of January 1959