Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting about the problems being faced by the common man due to absence of a potent and meaningful system of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the problems caused due to low rate of conviction, at the PM’s House here today.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Mr. Parvez Rashid; Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal; Special Assistant to PM, Dr. Musadiq Malik and Secretary Law, Mr. Zafarullah Khan.
The Prime Minister was also briefed about the success rate of ADR both internationally and regionally.
The Prime Minister stated that ADR complements the existing judicial system and helps the judiciary to focus on non-compoundable and other serious offences.
He reiterated that there is a need to bring reforms in the system of ADRs in order to bring down the losses incurred by the common litigant and to reduce burden on the courts. He also stressed on the need to speed up the settlement of disputes.
The Prime Minster emphasized that there is a need to scale up the use of technology in the process of investigation and prosecution to ensure fast tracking of the entire system.
He directed that there must be a coherent and efficacious system of ADRs that is capable of resolving the issues of common man.
The meeting emphasized need of reforms in ADR mechanism in which litigants are provided with a forum to decide their cases in a cost effective way through mediation.
The Prime Minister said that people selected from communities and villages on the basis of their competence, wisdom, and good reputation in society will be empowered to participate in the ADR mechanism. The system based on their participation would yield harmony in the society by settling disputes that the litigants are struggling to resolve for decades, he said.
“The Jirga system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas is a case in point that discourages people from indulging in costly litigation and encourages amicable resolution of disputes through collective community action,” the Prime Minister said.
He directed for immediate drafting of ADR Law which would be circulated and debated through provincial and national conferences by the civil society, legal fraternity and political parties.
The Prime Minister also agreed in principle to request the Speaker of the National Assembly to constitute a parliamentary committee for developing consensus on this legislation.