Judicial Conference

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The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan deserves applause for hosting a two day international judicial conference in the capital which in fact provided an opportunity to the participants belonging to the legal fraternity to share their ideas and learn from each other’s experiences to move towards achieving the ultimate goal of dispensing expeditious and inexpensive justice to the people.

Much has been written about the country’s justice system and the lack of public confidence in it. The litigants have to wait for years and decades to get their cases decided.

This is the reason that there is a general perception that approaching the law enforcement agencies or courts for the resolution of conflicts is nothing but wastage of time and money.

This is a dangerous notion and requisite steps need to be taken to restore the trust of the public on the justice system.

We believe forums such as the judicial conferences provide an opportunity to not only deliberate on the loopholes and shortcomings but also find the solutions keeping in view the modern trends.

The very statement made by honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial at the concluding session of the Judicial Conference will definitely have given some glimmer of hope to the people.

The CJP said that the use of technological advancements is being emphasized in streamlining litigation.

In this regard, the chief justice said the setting up of a National Judicial Automation Unit, approved by the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee, will help develop a National Online Dashboard for creating an integrated information system for the Judiciary.

The first phase of this project will centralise the data/record of cases pending in all courts on one website.

The second phase of this initiative seeks to implement data sharing with other stakeholders in the justice sector.

Indeed this is a step in the right direction and the project must be put in the operational phase without any delay as it go a long way in ensuring better management of cases.

The use of technology will enable the courts to be more efficient, effective and equitable but at the same time, given the increase in our population, our courts are also overburdened and clogged with a caseload that is humanly impossible for the current judiciary to manage.

Hence there is a need to increase the number of judges in all tiers of the judiciary in order to reduce the backlog of cases.

Then various countries across the world have adopted Alternative Dispute Resolution as the way forward for settlement of disputes and, successfully so, have seen this develop as a parallel regime to the traditional court system.

We also need to make this system more effective as out-of-court settlements will reduce the burden on our judiciary and prove to be beneficial for our society as a whole.

In addition, reforms of the police department centring on accountability are a must to strengthen and improve the justice system.

Responsibility in this regard rests with the provincial and federal governments. All organs of the state including the executive and the legislature will have to play their part to ensure rule of law in the country.

 

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