Emphasizing the issues of digitization of the judiciary, solving the problems of case backlog and enhancement of court management system, the second National Judicial Conference, 2016 was held at the Banganandhu International Conference Center (BICC), Dhaka on 24-25th December, 2016. Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, Chief Justice of Bangladesh inaugurated the two-day long conference on 24th December, 2016. The chief justice also launched a judicial information portal (www.judiciary.org.bd) on the occasion.
Presided over by Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, the inaugural session was addressed by former chief justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury, Mr. Shamsur Rahman Sherif, Minister for Land Affairs and Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT, among others. The key-note paper was presented by Justice Najmus Ara Sultana
Judges of the Supreme Court and officers of the Bangladesh Judicial Service (BJS) at all levels have participated in the conference to discuss the matters related to judiciary and will receive relevant directions. The conference was specially designed to discuss existing problems, possibilities and solution in digitizing judiciary, easing backlog of cases by establishing effective court administration and case management, sources said.
In the inaugural speech, Chief Justice stressed on the problem of mountainous case backlog.
At this moment, there are only 10 judges for every million people in Bangladesh are working to to serve justice; the judge:people ratio is fewer than most countries in the world. In the lower judiciary, around 2.7 million cases are pending before 1,268 judges to go through and try, which makes it an impossible task as the number of cases are increasing every day. “With 387 vacant post for the judges, if the number of the judges can be doubled, the gap will decrease,” Chief Justice added.
The second-day sessions of the conference took place in the Supreme Court Bar Auditorium. A number of selected judicial officers participated in different sessions on the second day. The discussions were held on subjects like NGO’s role in government legal aid activities, problems in implementing Women & Children Repression Prevention Act-2000, alternative dispute resolution and the solutions and things to do in increasing efficiency of court administration.
In the Closing speech of the Conference, Chief Justice repeatedly stressed upon getting rid of case backlogs and culture of wasting time in trial process.
“I know you have to work with many limitations including lack of infrastructure against the growing expectations for justice. You have to remember that it is a citizen’s constitutional right to get justice without any delay and at minimum cost and we are oath bound to ensure this right of the citizens’ and no limitations can be accepted as an excuse in this regard. This (wasting time in trial process) may make the justice seekers to lose their faith on the rule of law and make them impatient … we have to leave this culture for good”
– Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
The first National Judicial Conference was arranged last year. This year, the conference was organized by the Supreme Court in association with the UK-based Department for International Development and Maxwell Stamp PLC.
Source – BSS