Essay on “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” for CSS, PMS and Judiciary Examination

Here you will find the Essay on “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” for CSS, PMS, and Judiciary Examination. “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” is a legal maxim. It means that if legal redress or equitable relief to an injured party is available, but is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, it is effectively the same as having no remedy at all. But it is also a truth that the definition of justice delayed is justice denied is totally different in every country.

Essay on “Justice delayed is justice denied”

This principle is the basis for the right to a speedy trial and similar rights which are meant to expedite the legal system because it is unfair for the injured party to have to sustain the injury with little hope for resolution. The phrase has become a rallying cry for legal reformers who view courts or governments as acting too slowly in resolving legal issues either because the existing system is too complex or overburdened, or because the issue or party in question lacks political favor.

It is stated in Magna Carta that;

To no man will we sell or deny, or delay right or justice. As they say, justice delayed is justice denied, an expression that obtains especially in situations where a person may languish in remand prison for three years only to be found innocent of any charge.

Certain cases were pending for more than three decades. The causes for the delay were an inadequate number of courts and judicial officers, officers not equipped to tackle cases involving specialized knowledge, “dilatory tactics by litigants and their lawyers” and the role of administrating Speedy Trial

The judiciary is part of our democracy and all its implications must be imported into the judicial process. Once we accept the proposition that in a democratic society the court system plays a crucial role in seeing that neither license nor absolutism becomes dominant, the difficult tasks of the court vividly stare us in the face.

One cannot deny the fact that the Courts in Pakistan are so overburdened that the administration of justice suffers and suffers badly. This is practically the situation in all our Courts from the apex, the Supreme Court, to the subordinate District Courts.

The backlog of cases and the constant accumulation of new ones under this heading mean that quick delivery of justice has become impracticable. Even more frustrating is the fact that quite often an unacceptably large proportion of these cases lay pending for years and sometimes even decades

Adjournments regularly cause delays. The lawyers are then blamed for using such delaying tactics, but what needs to be realized is that no lawyer can succeed in taking an adjournment if the Court refuses to grant it. But to be fair, it is not the Courts that are to be held liable for this either, for in most circumstances they are helpless. Innumerable cases are listed every day before a Civil Judge in almost every major urban center of Pakistan.

The availability of opportunities for Appeals, Revision Petitions, Special Leave Petitions. pose serious hurdles in the final disposal of cases. The uncertainty of legal position on several issues and the very nature of the development of common law also encourages legal practitioners to seek newer grounds for filing Appeals, Revisions, and other Petitions.

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Justice delayed is justice denied, is an old but wise saying. Why has this delay happened and how this delay could be tackled are the questions of the hour? Who is/are responsible for this state of affairs is also not an irrelevant question?

Causes of Delay

The first and the biggest problem is the delay in the disposition of cases:

Due to huge pendency, the cases take years for their final disposal, which would normally take a few months’ time. The arrears cause delay and delay means negating the accessibility of justice in true terms to the common man. The very core of civil society and rule of law is the provision of justice, but the decision must be delivered within a reasonable time. It is totally unfair if a suspected criminal waits for trial for years and is ultimately found innocent. Similarly, the victim of the crime will be also not satisfied if there is no punishment for the criminal for so long. Only speedy justice could ensure effective maintenance of Law and order. Quality of justice not only promotes peace in the society but also strengthens the internal security of the country.

The strength of Judges are inadequate according to the population and a bunch of cases

As of January 2011, pending cases in the Supreme Court number 35,000, in high courts over 33. 79 lakh and in subordinate courts over 2.35 crore – a totally unacceptable situation. Much of this is due to a shortage of judges. The ratio of judges to population is 10.5 to one million, the lowest in the world. Even this low level is not reached because of the accumulation of vacancies in the Benches -140 against the approved strength of 668 judges in high courts and 2000 against 15000 in subordinate courts.4

The infrastructure of the lower courts is very disappointing

Though the Supreme Court and High Courts are having good infrastructure this is not the same position with lower courts. The Courts have no convenient buildings or physical facilities. The executive has failed to provide the necessary infrastructure to enable the judiciary and function normally. A good library, requisite furniture, sufficient staff, and reasonable space are the need of qualitative justice. In some courts security systems is also not good.

The legal profession is one of the most struggling professions but no social security scheme is available for lawyers, some financial aid should be provided to Bar associations or the new beginners by the government. The good working condition of the lawyers would help in the excellence of service and qualitative justice to the litigating public.

Competency of the Other Staff in Court

It should also be kept in mind that not only Judges and Advocates are competent but also the administrative and clerical staff. The clerical staff must be free from all types of corruption. This is the era of computerization. The highly technical and competitive clerical staff will also help in the speedy course. We all know how much time is taken in getting merely a copy of the judgment? It is hard that money is used to speed up the process. The bribe giver does not wish, to get anything done unlawfully, but merely wants to speed up the process of movement of files and communication relating to decisions. Certain sections of staff concerned do work only after taking money.

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Investigative agencies generally delay the investigation of crime

It is generally heard that the accused gets bail as the investigating agency failed to submit a charge sheet within the statutory period. The combination of several functions, such as crime investigation, riot control, intelligence gathering, and security of VIPs by a single police force has a devastating effect on the criminal justice system. Nowadays, criminal investigation is not immune from partisan politics. The power of the government to drop criminal charges against the accused has further abused. The lethargic police investigation is also a ground of the slow process of law.

Remedies to Overcome Delay (Suggestions)

There is a need to establish more courts and to increase the number of judges according to population. While the population of the country and the number of cases has increased manifold, the judgment services appear to be understaffed. The same is the position of the courts, where the number of courts is less in comparison to the need.

The hopelessly inadequate number of judges and also courts in the country is undoubtedly one of the major reasons for such delay. Successive Governments have not only failed to increase the numerical strength of judges and courts but have also been slack in filling up vacancies.

If the inadequate number of judges is one reason behind the delay in the judicial process another reason is the incompetence and inefficiency of judges. There are some law colleges in Pakistan where students do not have to attend classes, teachers need not deliver lectures, and the syllabus need not be followed. These colleges have become a factory of distribution of law degrees.

The habit of taking adjournment by the lawyers is another reason behind the delay. Some lawyers take adjournment unnecessarily to harass opposite parties and to extract money from clients. Some of them cause delays by continuing meaningless arguments day after day. In Government cases, adjournment is freely sought to file affidavit because the offices of the Advocate General, the Attorney General, and Solicitors General to the Central and State Governments are inadequately staffed and equipped.

The absence of work culture in the courts is another reason behind the delayed -justice. Every work of courts is · carried out very slowly. Attraction to the holidays makes the work of the judiciary dilatory and procrastinating. The number of holidays, especially in the higher judiciary, is so vast that one can easily count the number of working days. This adds to the number of mountainous pending cases in the court.

Other principal causes are the followings

(i)            Litigation explosion;

(ii)           Accumulation of the first appeal;

(iii)          Inadequacy of staff attached to the High Court;

(iv)         Inordinate the concentration of work in the hands of some members of the Bar’

(v)          Lack of punctuality among judges;

(vi)         Granting of unnecessary adjournments;

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(vii)        Indiscriminate closure of Courts;

(viii)       Indiscriminate resort to writ jurisdiction;

(ix)         Inadequacy of classification and granting of cases;

(x)          Inordinate delay in the supply of certified copies of judgments and orders etc.

It is needed to establish a body at the national level composed of Judges, Lawyers, and Legal academics, which should be charged with a duty to conduct examinations for recruitment to the Pakistani Judicial Service. The creation of the Pakistani Judicial Service is appeared necessary to get the best available talent in the country.

Though already a demand of establishing a large number of ordinary courts is pending, yet special courts have their own importance. In developing countries, corruption is growing like cancer and unless cases are taken up and decided early, the disease will spread further. The special courts and prosecuting agencies may be appointed to deal with cases of corruption and cybercrimes.

There is an urgent need to improve the basic infrastructure and management of resources. Modern technology and the use of computers could also increase the efficiency of the court system. The judiciary has also to learn management techniques through training at all levels. Though the Supreme Court and High Courts are having good infrastructure this is not the same position with lower courts.

The lower courts are the basic institution of justice and to improve the quality of the justice dispensed with, it is necessary to improve their infrastructure by modern technology. Lack of funds should not be allowed to enter in the way of development of infrastructure, as external security is necessary, internal maintenance of law and order is also necessary for the internal security, national interest, peace, and progress.

Our criminal justice system has the urgent requirement of an Independent Investigative Agency. Delay in police investigation is also one reason due to which cases linger on for years. It is, therefore, good to create an independent wing of the police force, fully in charge of crime investigation, and functioning under the direct control of independent prosecutors. That wing should be accountable to the judiciary and not to a particular government of a time.

We have inherited the British legal system, Britishers prescribed it at that time, without considering the need of Pakistani society nor did they consider the practice of the procedure. So, this system is drawn from different sources without seeing the ground realities.

It is heard that in ancient times justice system was very good. The disputes were· settled on the spot by delivering justice. But ancient justice proceedings were oral in general and therefore no such record is available.

There are many reasons why efficiency is important

Judicial inefficiency leads to a black market for justice. Litigants, who lose confidence in the judiciary, simply veer off the “go-slow” justice highway and enter the black market of justice where they can have more efficient, even if unorthodox, adjudication.

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