Opening legal sector to foreign players will benefit Indian lawyers: CJI Khehar

Chief Justice of India J S Khehar endorsed the opening up India’s legal sector to foreign players, saying that Indian lawyers will benefit from the international exposure.
Foreign lawyers are barred from practicing in India under the Advocates Act. Foreign governments, through representative bodies, continue to lobby for opening Indian legal services to foreign competition. But the Bar Council of India, which regulates close to 1.2 million lawyers in the country, has been opposed to the idea.
However, last year, BCI proposed new rules to allow foreign lawyers and law firms to set up offices in India after registering with it. BCI is of the view that the professional conduct of foreign lawyers and foreign law firms will go unchecked if they are not enrolled under the Advocates Act.
Chief Justice Khehar said even though BCI has agreed “in principle” with the proposal to gradually open up the legal sector to foreign players, it should be done only on a reciprocal basis.
The Chief Justice also welcomed the idea of India becoming a signatory state to the Hague Convention, which deals with the issue of child custody of parents living abroad following a matrimonial discord.

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