Need for meaningful judicial reforms

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A well-functioning judiciary is a crucial component of any country which not only enhances its prosperity but is also referred to as the backbone of any state.

The role of judiciary is crucial when it comes to rule of law as without it a state cannot exist or function properly.

Hence there is a dire need to remove the existing loopholes in our judicial system through concerted and coordinated efforts to better serve the masses.

Speaking at a ceremony on Wednesday, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah said the seventy year old system cannot be changed with a magic wand and there is a need to change and strengthen the justice system through reforms.

Whilst fully agreeing with the assertion of the honourable Chief Justice of IHC, it is also a deplorable fact that nothing concrete or serious has been done in all these previous decades to reform the judicial system that could better serve the purpose of dispensing justice to ordinary and underprivileged citizens in an inexpensive and timely manner.

It was good to hear from the IHC’s top judge that he has done the paperwork on reforms and has also taken the federal government on board.

It is expected that these reforms will not remain on the paper but the executive will also do the needful to implement them on the ground.

In fact, the government can further improve the reforms proposed by IHC’s CJ, if it considers so, after consultations with the relevant stakeholders including the bar.

Special measures need to be taken in the short to medium term to reduce the backlog of cases.

Whilst ensuring that the cases are disposed of without any undue delay, the courts need to be made more accessible to the people irrespective of their gender, religion, race or economic status.

Then the judiciary should make extensive use of technology to streamline the litigation. Legislature and the judiciary should also develop effective ADR facilities which will reduce burden on courts and ensure expeditious dispensation of justice.

We believe all the state organs including the executive and legislature will also have to play their part to bring meaningful judicial reforms in order to restore the confidence of the people in judiciary as an independent, empathetic and efficient arbiter of law.

 

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