ADR only solution to deal with cases backlog: CJP

ADR only solution to deal with cases backlog: CJP

LAHORE: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Sunday said that the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) seemed to be the only solution to cases backlog in the country. He was speaking at the concluding session of 2nd three-day Punjab Women Judges Conference, organised by the Punjab Judicial Academy here.

The chief justice said "model courts, if they are not at the cost of delaying ordinary litigation and providing privilege to those who need it and not those who don't, then we should embrace them as a need of the day." Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said: "We're lucky that we are governed by a written constitution.

This written constitution enshrines fundamental rights and if we go through the relevant chapter, those fundamental rights make no discrimination in male or female." He said that unfortunately in rustic societies, there might be situations where women were not treated well.

"But in the cities, I feel that women are in quite better condition." He said that there was no difference between a civil judge first class and a Supreme Court judge. Both are meant to dispense justice according to the law and no one can do it according to his own will. The CJ said that being the father of the institution, he would advise every judge to know the law and apply it in letter and spirit.

He congratulated Lahore High Court chief justice for highlighting the issues related to gender-based violence cases (GBVCs) and gender sensitivity. He appreciated the efforts made in conducting courses and trainings. LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and other judges, Registrar Syed Khurshid Anwar Rizvi, Director General District Judiciary Muhammad Akmal Khan, Director General Punjab Judicial Academy Mah Rukh Aziz and other judicial officers were also present.

Addressing the audience, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that violence faced by women took physical, verbal, psychological and economic forms. He encouraged women judges to fight against elements which perpetuated violence against women. He acknowledged the need for better access to justice for women through impartiality in adjudication, and reaffirmed his commitment to equality and non-discrimination for all judges, irrespective of gender.

The LHC CJ also appreciated Justice Ayesha A Malik for organizing the second successful conference and thanked the donors including EU, UNODC, ADB, WB and Asia Foundation. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah shared with the participants the figures of the cases decided by the ADR centres and model courts. Justice Ayesha Malik of the Lahore High Court discussed recommendations, put forward by speakers, and inspired women judges to encourage a women-friendly non-discriminatory environment within their courtrooms.

Chairperson of Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) Ms Fauzia Viciar, Justice Susana Medina, President of IAWJ, Justice Eusebia Munuo, Justice of the Court of Appeal in Tanzania, Justice Saida Chebili, President of the Court of Sousse in Tunisia, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Ms Mehreen Siddiqi from PCSW, ADSJ Shazib Saeed, Ms Anne Goldstein, Justice Eusebia Munuo of Ghana and Dr Robyn Layton, former Supreme Court Judge in South Australia, also spoke at difference sessions of the conference.