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8th Judicial Conference 2018
4th - 5th May 2018
The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) under the auspices of National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee is organizing a three-day Judicial Conference on various law and justice related themes. Holding of Judicial Conferences is a recurring event of LJCP and this year it will be the 8th such event.
The Conference will be held on 4th - 5th May 2018 at the Supreme Court of Pakistan Building, Islamabad. The inaugural and concluding sessions will be chaired by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan and the thematic groups will be chaired by the Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. There is no participation and registration fee and the Speakers shall have a unique opportunity of presenting their papers before Hon’ble Judges of the superior judiciary, principal law officers, district judiciary, prosecutors, provincial and federal justice sector stakeholders etc.
Chairman, Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan Hon'ble Chief Justice of Pakistan
Holding of Judicial Conference is recurring annual event which provides a permanent forum to the stakeholders of justice sector to discuss the issues and problems confronting the legal and judicial systems of the country and make recommendations for its reform. The first National Judicial Conference in the year 2007 was a unique event in the history of Pakistan when for the first time all stakeholders of the justice sector such as judges of the superior Courts, Judicial Officers, representatives of the Bar and legal luminaries from across the country were brought together in consultative process for improving the administration of justice in Pakistan. The issues like judicial independence, clearance of backlog, writing quality judgments, ADR, Public interest litigation and legal education were discussed.
2nd National Judicial Conference
The 2nd National Judicial Conference of 2009 is marked as an important event in the judicial history of Pakistan for the reason that not only the representatives of justice system but the members of the government agencies and representatives of civil society were invited to discuss the National Judicial Policy and its implementation mechanism. This Conference was based on multi theme format to improve the effectiveness of National Judicial Policy to achieve its predetermined objectives. The recommendations formulated during the Conference were considered and incorporated in the National Judicial Policy. In the light of recommendations, improvements were made to expedite trial proceedings, timely submission of challans and production of under-trial prisoners for expeditious disposal of cases.
3rd National Judicial Conference
The 3rd National Judicial Conference 2010 was convened on 16th-18th April 2010 with the aim to provide a platform to the stakeholders of justice sector to share their experiences and suggestions to clear the huge backlog accumulated over the decades and to ensure provision of speedy dispensation of justice. The deliberation made in the working groups led to formulation of recommendations and adaptation of Conference Declaration. Participatory methodology formed the basis of this three-day Conference in which the participants showed their involvement and interest through group work and intensive discussion. The participants focused their discussion on issues like improving the implementation of National Judicial Policy, Alternate Dispute Resolution, elimination of corruption in judiciary, responsibility of judges, lawyers and litigants in dispensation of justice. The recommendations formulated by the groups were considered by the NJPMC and all workable suggestions were implemented.
4th National Judicial Conference
The 4th National Judicial Conference 2011 was held on 22nd-24th April 2011. This time litigants and prisoners were also invited to attend the Conference and share their experiences and difficulties faced in pursuing their cases so as to understand and develop a workable mechanism for improving the administration of justice. The Conference proved a productive event due to active participation of relevant stakeholders. Themes selected for the Conference were based on the issues identified through consultation with the stakeholder of the justice sector. The Conference recommended for holding dialogue with Bar and other stakeholders for creating sense of ownership about the Policy, institutionalization of public interest litigation, adaptation of deterrent measures for eradication of corruption, credible amendments in laws, rules to ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice through ADR. The participants also recommended reformation of jails, effective implementation of Intellectual Property Laws and formulation of National Legal Education Policy for improving the standards of legal education.
5th International Judicial Conference
In 2012, the NJPMC broadened the scope of Judicial Conference to include distinguished international legal luminaries, researchers and academia to provide an opportunity to the national participants for interaction and gain not only an insight into international perspectives on the various topics of the Conference but also to enhance their understanding of common concerns in the administration of justice throughout the world. Eight thematic groups were formed on the basis of issues identified after broad consultation and the invaluable interaction resulted in development of innovative strategies for reforms to keep pace with the requirements of a dynamic society. The Conference recommended that the courts may utilize knowledge of experts in dealing with complex commercial issues, ADR should be made part of legal education and efforts should be made for education of all stakeholders on ADR. The Conference recommended establishment of a Judicial Commission on Gender Equality and Judicial Empathy and capacity building of judges, Court staff and counsels.
6thInternational Judicial Conference
The International Judicial Conference, 2013 was convened on 19-21 April, 2013 in Islamabad for providing an opportunity to all the stakeholders of justice sector institutions to deliberate upon the issues/ problems faced by the justice sector institutions in dispensation of inexpensive and expeditious justice. The Conference was attended by the jurists, academia and legal luminaries from around the world. The participants focused their deliberations on eight diversified thematic topics.
The working sessions were presided over by the Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and co-chaired by the Chief Justices of the High Courts, whereas, the foreign delegates participated in groups as panelists and speakers. The groups after exhaustive deliberations formulated their recommendations which were approved by the Conference as Islamabad Declaration.
7th International Judicial Conference
The International Judicial Conference, 2014 was convened on 19-21 April, 2014 in Islamabad for providing an opportunity to the national and international luminaries in the field of law and judicial administration to interact, share experiences, views and concerns for devising best strategies to resolve issues related to Judicial Review of Administrative Actions, Role of Judiciary in Protecting Human Rights, Access to Justice in the Context of Constitutional Requirements and Role of Judiciary in Promotion of Culture of Tolerance. The papers presented and deliberations made in the working groups, led to the formulation of recommendations and the gist thereof was read out as Conference Declaration.
LAW & JUSTICE COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN
The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) is a statutory federal institution established in 1979 to keep under review on systematic basis, the statutes and other laws of the country, with a view to make recommendations to the Federal and Provincial Governments for improvement, modernization and reforms thereof, and recommendations to Government for inexpensive and expeditious dispensation of justice. It is headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan/Chairman and comprising upon the Hon’ble Chief Justices of the Federal Shariat Court and High Courts, Attorney General for Pakistan, Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Chairperson to the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and four other members/Jurists from each province.
The LJCP has so far approved 138 reports on law reforms and submitted the same to the Government for legislation to amend the statutes, accordingly. The LJCP is assisted by its Secretariat supervised by the Secretary. The Secretariat also operates a legal awareness scheme, where under Urdu write-ups on legal issues of public interest are published for public awareness. The write-ups prepared so far have been compiled and published in Seven volumes under the title “Qanoon Fahmi”.
The Commission is empowered to support the implementation of reforms in order to strengthen the rule of law generally and justice service delivery in particular. To this end, the Law and Justice Commission conducts both research in house and collaborates with other local and international bodies and private sector organizations and individuals to inform and conduct research and policy analysis and lead advocacy efforts to implement reforms. Therefore, the Commission welcomes comments, views and suggestions from research institutions, professional bodies, jurists, scholars, researchers and general public for law reforms, improvement in administration of justice, standard of legal education and protection of human rights.
National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC)
The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) Secretariat also provides assistance to the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (established under the Ordinance No. LXXI of 2002) to accomplish its mandate. The NJPMC is headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan being Chairman and members included the Chief Justice of Federal Shariat court and High Courts. The Committee is mandated to formulate policy for improving the capacity and performance of the administration of justice. Since its establishment, the NJPMC has passed creditable directions to justice sector stakeholders for administration of justice to ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice. The NJPMC framed National Judicial Policy, monitoring performance of Judiciary (including special courts and tribunals) in terms of disposal and pendency and clearance of backlog, directives for establishment of Green Benches in the Superior Courts, clearance of pendency of Tax cases, instructions for non-production of under trial prisoners before the courts for trial/remand, redressed pathetic living conditions in prisons, emphasized welfare of children confined in jails with their mothers, ensure timely completion of investigations and submission of challans within the stipulated period, dilapidated conditions and congestion in jails has also been redressed, etc.
Under the auspices of the NJPMC, the Secretariat has been organized seven Judicial Conferences so for to provide a forum to law officers, researchers and legal academia of the country and international luminaries to interact, share experiences and evolve policies and strategies to address the problems faced by justice system. Further, under the umbrella of the NJPMC, the Secretariat also organizes workshops, seminars and consultative meetings/sessions to have concrete suggestions for inexpensive and efficient administration of justice.
National Judicial Automation Committee (NJAC)
The National Judicial Automation Committee (NJAC) is a Sub-committee of National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC) which was reconstituted on 2 September 2016 to integrate all the courts through information technology and standardize the automation activities across the judiciary. The Committee is headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mushir Alam Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan and other members include Hon’ble Judges from Federal Shariat Court and High Courts. Some of the achievements are;
Integration of High Courts and Federal Shariat Court with the Supreme Court of Pakistan
Categorization of Cases on a standard pattern
Compilation of Advocates Data
Developed IT Training Manuals for Judicial Officers & Court Staff
Web services integrating the Federal Shariat Court and High Courts with the Supreme Court of Pakistan to avoid conflicting cause list and provide Status of Appeals pending in the Supreme Court wherein judgments of the Federal Shariat Court/High Courts are challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Provincial Justice Committees (PJCS)
The Provincial Justice Committees (PJCs) is a Sub-committee of National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC). The Hon’ble Chairman NJPMC has reconstituted Provincial Justice Committees (PJCs) in the provinces vide approval dated 20.6.2015 and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) vide approval dated 5.8.2015. The PJCs are headed by respective Hon’ble Chief Justices of High Courts while Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) is Secretary of all the PJCs. The core function of the Justice Committees is to enhance coordination between the respective rule of law/justice sector institutions.
Access to Justice Development Fund (AJDF)
The Government of Pakistan has established a statutory endowment of rupees 1,421 million Access to Justice Development Fund (AJDF) with a view to address the issue of budgetary constraints faced by the judicial and legal sectors in Pakistan. The AJDF is an independent source of income for judiciary to invest in the neglected areas to strengthen the professional functionality of the courts and its service delivery component and legal empowerment. The AJDF is located in the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP), which provides secretarial support to the AJDF. The LJCP has constituted a Governing Body with a mandate to manage and administer the Fund, which is also headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan. The AJDF has Seven Windows for disbursing and extending funds for easy access to justice, the said windows have share percentage for allocation from the profit on investments to be allocated for each year.
SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN
The Supreme Court of Pakistan is the apex Court of the country, exercising original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. It is the Court of ultimate appeal and therefore the final arbiter of law and the Constitution. The dictums laid by it are binding on all other courts and the executive authorities are required to act in its aid. Part VII, Chapter 1 & 2 of the Constitution (Article 175 to 191) deals with the composition, jurisdiction and rules of procedure of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court comprised of a Chief Justice and sixteen judges. It has a permanent seat at the Federal Capital with branch registries at provincial headquarters. The Chief Justice and judges are appointed by the President on the recommendations of Judicial Committee from amongst persons having five years experience as a judge of a High Court or fifteen years standing at Bar as an advocate of a High Court. The retiring age is 65 years.
Its multiple roles include resolving conflicts and disputes, be they among Governments (Federal/Provincial) or between Government and individuals or individuals inter-se. The Court is also a custodian and upholder of citizens’ rights, liberties and freedoms. Seen in this context, the Court indeed occupies a pivotal position in the constitutional dispensation, by playing the role of unifying and integrating the nation, its regions, institutions and communities. As guardian of the Constitution, the Court is required to preserve, protect and defend this basic document.
The Supreme Court enjoys financial autonomy and is empowered to make rules/procedure for regulation its own working.