Updated November 10, 2022
The Principles of Natural Justice phrase owes its root to “Jus Natural” in Roman law and bears close relation with common law & moral principles. Natural Justice Principles are however, not codified. Essentially, ‘Natural Justice’ is a key notion in administrative law that refers to the basic standards or rules to which administrative authorities must follow when deciding issues with civil implications. The principles of natural justice establish the fundamental basis for an effective administrative functioning in any democratic country.
All citizens of a civilized State should respect the principle of natural justice with due importance. It is a rule of nature that does not originate from any constitution or statute. In the early days of fair practices, when industrial areas had a harsh and uncompromising law for hiring and firing the workers. The Supreme Court used to issue its order by granting duration and social justice and economic statutory were established for the protections of workers.
Natural justice simply follows a reasonable and rational decision-making process for a particular subject. Sometimes, it’s not important which decision is reasonable but in the end, what important is, the process and the people who are involved in making the right decision. The concept of fairness does not limit it. It comes in different colors and shades that vary according to the context.
What Principles of Natural Justice are There?
There are generally two Principles of Natural Justice which each administrative authority must follow regardless of whether they are explicitly provided in the pertinent Acts or not. These are (a). “Nemo judex in causa sua” (Rule of Impartial Judgment) and (b). “Audi alteram partem”(Rule of giving fair opportunities to every party).
- Nemo judex in causa sua (Rule of Impartial Judgment): It is the first principle of natural justice which states that no one can serve as a judge or a deciding authority in its own case. They should be impartial and neutral while the process of deciding any matter. This means that in all circumstances, when an authority or judge is believed to be biased or partial, they will be disqualified from making the decision of any case they are assigned. The law states that justice should not be just done but also seen to be completed.
- Audi alteram partem (Rule of providing fair opportunities to both parties): It is regarded as the fundamental justice principle or justice in the natural or equitable sense. This principle encompasses a person’s right to be heard or to be afforded a fair opportunity to challenge evidences presented by the opposing party, the right to present evidence or to have a council.
Rules, Natural Justice Consist of
Essentially, natural justice requires that a person receive a fair and unbiased hearing before any decision is made that may negatively affect them. The three main requirements of natural justice that must meet in every case are:
- Hearing rule: It states that the person or party affected by the decision made by the panel of expert members should be given a fair opportunity to express his point of view to defend himself.
- Bias rule: It expresses that panel of experts should be biased free while taking the decision. The decisions should be given in a free and fair manner to fulfil the rule of natural justice.
- Reasoned Decision: It advocates that the court’s order, decision, or judgment given by the Presiding authorities should be valid and and on reasonable ground.
Origin of the Concepts
The principle of natural justice is a very old concept and was originated at an early age. People from Greek and Roman civilizations were very familiar of this notion. The concept of natural justice was in acceptance during the the time of Kautilya, arthashastra and Adam . As per the Bible in the case of Eve and Adam, who ate knowledge fruits, both were punished by God. But before imposing the sentence, eve was given a reasonable chance to defend herself, and the same went with Adam also.
The concept of natural justice was accepted by English jurists later on. The term “natural justice” originates from the Roman term ‘jus-naturale’ as well as lex-naturale, which outlined the basic principles for natural justice and natural law, and equity. Natural justice is basically a sense of what is wrong and what is the right thing to be done.
In India, the idea was introduced at very early period. In the instance in Mohinder Singh Gill vs. Chief Election Commissioner, the court decided that fairness should be considered in all decisions, whether administrative, quasi-judicial, or judicial, and/or quasi-administrative.
Every Principle/rule has a defined purpose to meet, so does the principles of natural justice. Objectives, principles of natural justice are originated for, are mentioned below
- To provide equal opportunity of being heard.
- Concept of Fairness.
- To eradicate the gaps and loopholes of the law.
- To protect the Fundamental Rights.
- Basic features of the Constitution.
- No miscarriage of Justice.
The principles of natural justice advocates that the judgement given by authority must be impartial, and the parties should be afforded an equal opportunity to hear their case. All the reasoning and decisions made by the court must be made known through the courts to the relevant parties.
The Supreme court stated that reaching a fair and justifiable judgment is the goal of administrative and judicial bodies. The primary objective for natural justice lies in stopping the mishaps that can occur in injustice. An advisory committee, namely “Ministers Power”, gave three important procedures based on the principles of natural justice. These are:
- No one should be a judge in its own matter.
- No one can be condemned unheard.
- The party has a right to know each and every reason and the decision taken by the authority.
More About Natural Justice- FAQs
Ans- Maxim Audi Alteram Partem is the principle related to natural justice. It is regarded as the fundamental justice principle or justice in the natural or equitable sense. This principle encompasses a person’s right to be heard or to be afforded a fair opportunity to challenge evidences presented by the opposing party, the right to present evidence or to have a council.
Ans- “Nemo Judex In Causa Sua” which means means rule against bias. It is the first principle of natural justice which states that no one can serve as a judge or as deciding authority in its own case. They should be impartial and neutral while the process of deciding any matter. This means that in all circumstances, when an authority or judge is believed to be biased or partial, they will be disqualified from making the decision of any case they are assigned. The law states that justice should not be just done but also seen to be completed.
Ans- Natural justice means fairness, reasonableness, equity and equality. It represents the higher procedural principles developed by judges, which is to be followed by judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative bodies in making decisions that affecting the rights or status of a person.
Ans- Essentially, the justice system requires that a person receive a fair and unbiased hearing before a any decision is made that may negatively affect them. The three main requirements of justice that must meet in every case are: adequate notice, fair hearing and no bias.
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