The problem of judicial inefficiency and the resulting delay in processing cases is present in much of the world but is especially serious in developing countries. For instance, in India, officials consider inefficiency of the judicial system one of the country's most challenging issues. Indian courts are some of the most congested in the world. In 2002, there were 23 million pending court cases: 20,000 in the Supreme Court, 3.2 million in the high courts, and 20 million in lower courts. It is common for cases to take decades, and sometimes generations, to resolve.

Serious backlogs and delays in the judicial process have far-reaching implications for those interested in making legal and social policy changes. Many law and society observers who study India note that this ...

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