Investigating the Procedural, Institutional and Circumstantial Impediments Leading to Delay in Dispensation of Justice

Theme/Relevant Ministry:

Civil Courts; High Court; Supreme Court; Bars; Supreme Judicial Commission of Pakistan; M/o Human Rights

Project Brief:

The overarching theme of the research paper will pertain to understanding the root causes of the mounting judicial backlog, unnecessary delays in disposal of suits and consequent waning public trust in the formal civil court system in Pakistan. The paper will mainly focus on civil petitions and appeals in the lower district courts as these make up the bulk of the caseload in the judiciary. The paper will then dissect and analyze the causes of the aforementioned triumvirate by considering the issue’s various facets including the lawyer-side, court-side, demand-side and procedural factors. This will involve investigating court procedure, case management techniques, prevailing legal culture, judicial appointment mechanisms etc. and the extent of their impact on access to justice and faith in the institution. Research efforts will include both primary and secondary sources of qualitative data allowing for an accurate view of the real-time issues plaguing the civil court system and the potential solutions thereof. The eventual aim of the paper would be to study this data to propose realistic recommendations for future reform in the sector.

Public Policy Relevance:

The study will provide a practical reimagination of the CPC, drawing from not only existing literature and professional experience but also learning from a review of cases presently going through the system and the professional inputs of key industry experts. The study will also demonstrate the need for a forward-looking approach to reform keeping in view relevant contextual considerations such as local legal culture et al. It is hoped that these efforts shall empower policymakers to consider more radically progressive strategies in drafting future amendments to the procedural framework.

Ahsan Jamal Pirzada
Partner, Jamal & Jamal Advocates and Legal Consultants, Islamabad (PI)
06 months
Rs. 3,200,000/-