This is an essay on “Speedy Justice” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations. It is the responsibility of the state to provide speed justice to its citizens. As per the constitution of Pakistan 1973, the state takes suitable steps to provide speedy justice. Here is a complete essay on “Speedy Justice” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations.
Essay on “Speedy Justice”
Dynamism and innovativeness of the judicial system are vital for the country’s development, and it is the duty of the courts to ensure speedy delivery of justice. Chief justice of Pakistan Chaudhry Iftikhar Muhammad said;
“The role of the judiciary places enormous responsibility on the shoulders of the courts and the nation’s development is equally dependent on the dynamism and innovativeness of the judicial system”.
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 the administrative staff of the courts.
The judicial system at the panchayat level without the influence of political parties might reduce the load in courts. It possible be possible we may find cases that are pending for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, and so on.
On further examination of the cases, we may find that the parties involved in very old cases are either not there or not interested in pursuing the case anymore. If this process was systematically followed up, at least 20 to 30 percent of the pending cases could be closed in one go. It is suggested grouping of cases similar from the legal point of view so that these could be placed before a particular judge or bench for disposal.
The combined process of age analysis and grouping will result in the disposal of a large number of pending cases. It is also suggested that evolving a judicial program management group with an empowered IT team based on experiences of successful mission mode programs in agriculture, nuclear technology, defense research, space technology, and IT and pharma sectors. This program management group must have the authority to create mobile pendency clearance courts that can move to various districts and blocks for hearing the cases in the village itself and provide speedy justice.
From the time the case is registered till it is disposed of with the judgment, the entire process must take place electronically,” This would enable easy search, retrieval, grouping, information processing, judicial record processing, and disposal of cases in a transparent manner. E-Judiciary will have to be in a position to provide information in real-time, the rights and responsibilities of the individuals of the society.
The judges, lawyers, support staff in the courts, and litigants have “all got to play a role and they have to become accountable for their actions”. The Effective Trial Management Programme (ETMP) is an important part of the reforms of the criminal justice system and concentrates on improving efficiency by improving case preparation and progression in many countries.
- Reduce ineffective trials
- Make clear the roles and responsibilities of all those involved in the preparation and progression of criminal cases
- Introduce case progression officers and have clear points of contact in all agencies.
- Ensure defendants attend court.
- Manage each case within the system to bring it to a conclusion without unnecessary delay.
- A reduction in the number of pre-trial hearings as well as a decrease in the total number of all hearings. A reduction in the number of adjournments
- A reduction in the overall length of time of the trial hearing
- An improvement in the experience of victims and witnesses
The right to a speedy trial is the essence of criminal justice and there is no doubt that justice delayed is justice denied. In many countries, speedy trial is one of the constitutionally assured rights.
There can be, hence, no doubt that speedy trial is an integral and essential part of the fundamental right to life and liberty enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan. Though the current system on the academic plane provides this fundamental right it faces a crucial crisis due to notorious delays.
The inordinate delay in the disposal of court cases induces the public to hunt for justice through extra-judicial means.
Law Commission of Pakistan also ·verified the urgency of combating the problem of overload. A number of times the courts too have glossed upon the matter and issued directions to reduce the ever-mounting arrears of cases before the courts.
Most of these recommendations have been given a practical shape, but the position instead of improving has further deteriorated. Such an apathetic state of affairs has become a matter of concern to all. The reasons for delay are many and could be classified as court-related, legal profession related, litigants related and State related.
For the purpose of this article most important reason is the State’s lack of priority for matters relating to the administration of justice. The number of judges appointed replicates no logical equation with the rising court cases and populace.
Right to Speedy Justice
Interminable and unjustifiable delays in our criminal justice system are today compromising the basic legal rights of countless thousands of Indians and imperceptibly corroding the very foundation of constitutional policy based on the rule of law.
The manifold increase in the number of under-trial prisoners in the country in the recent past speaks of the gigantic nature of the problem of culpable delay. The right to speedy justice for under-trial prisoners is the basic right of prisoners and the duty of courts.
The demand by international human rights groups for a free and fair trial under a more acceptable judicial process is understandable. The Pakistani concept of speedy justice, which circumvents the normal judicial process, has often been criticized by human rights groups, both at home and abroad. The system of speedy justice is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan. In different forms, such courts have been in place for more than a decade. Even anti-terrorism courts have been operating in the country for the last few years.
The rationale for this system of speedy justice was that since the existing civilian courts were already over-burdened with tens of thousands of cases, it was not possible for them to dispose of cases of terrorism, which the authorities felt needed to be dealt with in a swift and firm manner.
No country can ever think of establishing a representative democratic rule unless a free and independent judiciary is ensured. The three constitutions, framed in Pakistan, proved to be just pieces of paper; their sanctity has been unashamedly and frequently violated by the men with guns, and even by those who authored and approved these documents.
The constitution of a country is a living and vibrant document that determines the future direction of the nation, provided there is respect for the document and rule of law. In a bona fide democratic setup, the electoral process ensures the dominance of the people over those who hold political offices.
Does nobody possess the authority to deny a constitutional guarantee of free access to justice to citizens? Even a military dictator, who usurps power by abrogating the constitution, cannot deny this fundamental human right which is endorsed by the international community through the UN Human Rights Charter.
Undoubtedly, the administration and dispensation of justice in Pakistan has been a complete failure and, therefore, democracy has never taken its roots. This is the time that all political parties, media people, intelligentsia, and representatives of civil society should act collectively and resist the anti-people, obscurantist, and anti-democracy forces that are bent upon destroying this country.
The right to a speedy trial does not apply to every stage of a criminal case. It arises only after a person has been arrested, indicted, or otherwise formally accused of a crime by the government. Before the point of formal accusation, the government is under no Sixth Amendment obligation to investigate, accuse, or prosecute a defendant within a specific amount of time.
Judicial independence is the doctrine that decisions of the judiciary should be impartial and not subject to influence from the other branches of government or from private or political interests. In most cases, judicial independence is secured by giving judges long, and sometimes lifetime, tenure and making them not easily removable. Simple, speedy, and summary justice is at the heart of Government reforms to rebalance the criminal justice system and increase public confidence, Lord Falconer said.
The changes will provide a modern criminal justice system responsive to 21st Century needs and expectations. This means that justice will be:
Simple: cases that are best dealt with by way of warning, caution, or some other effective remedy to prevent re-offending without the court process will not enter the courts.
Speedy: those cases that require a court process will be dealt with as quickly as possible consistent with the needs of justice.
Summary: a much more proportionate approach for example dealing with appropriate cases the day after charge or during the same week.
Lord Falconer said:
“Public confidence is critical to the effective operation of the criminal justice system. People must feel the system is fair, efficient and is protecting them from harm. Too many cases take too long to come to court. Processes both in court and beforehand are often lengthy and arcane and take little account of the needs of victims and witnesses.
It concludes “the right to be treated according to law, the right to have a fair and proper trial and right to have an impartial court or tribunal. Justice therefore can only be done if there is an independent judiciary that shall be separate from all clutches and controls. The rule of law embraces at least three principles.
The first principle is that the law is supreme over officials of the government as well as private individuals, and thereby preclusive of the influence of arbitrary power.
The second principle requires the creation and maintenance of an actual order of positive laws which preserves and embodies the more general principle of normative order.
The third principle requires that the relationship between the state and the individual be regulated by law.
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