1. Steering Through Turbulence
  2. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  3. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  4. Making ADR work for Women
  5. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  6. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  7. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  8. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  9. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  10. Come on Skipper !
  11. GUMM
  12. Annus Horibilis
  13. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  14. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  15. Method in the Madness
  16. Legal System Reforms
  17. Power Over Impulse
  18. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  19. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  20. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  21. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  22. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  23. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  24. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  25. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  26. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  27. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  28. NEWS PICKS
  29. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  30. Fitness with the Mughal
  31. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  32. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  33. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  34. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  35. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  36. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  37. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  38. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  39. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  40. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  41. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  42. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  43. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  44. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  45. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  46. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  47. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  48. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  49. Money for nothing, bits for free
  50. FinTech
  51. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  52. Crisis of Civilization
  53. Child Sexual Abuse
  54. Education is the only Solution
  55. Fit for Purpose
  56. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  57. Mini meringue recipe
  58. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  59. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  60. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  61. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  62. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  63. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  64. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  65. Five major political events of 2017
  66. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  67. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  68. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  69. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  70. What we can learn from Ghalib
  71. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING
Mon, Oct 22, 2018
  1. Steering Through Turbulence
  2. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  3. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  4. Making ADR work for Women
  5. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  6. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  7. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  8. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  9. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  10. Come on Skipper !
  11. GUMM
  12. Annus Horibilis
  13. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  14. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  15. Method in the Madness
  16. Legal System Reforms
  17. Power Over Impulse
  18. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  19. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  20. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  21. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  22. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  23. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  24. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  25. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  26. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  27. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  28. NEWS PICKS
  29. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  30. Fitness with the Mughal
  31. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  32. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  33. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  34. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  35. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  36. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  37. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  38. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  39. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  40. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  41. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  42. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  43. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  44. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  45. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  46. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  47. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  48. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  49. Money for nothing, bits for free
  50. FinTech
  51. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  52. Crisis of Civilization
  53. Child Sexual Abuse
  54. Education is the only Solution
  55. Fit for Purpose
  56. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  57. Mini meringue recipe
  58. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  59. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  60. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  61. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  62. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  63. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  64. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  65. Five major political events of 2017
  66. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  67. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  68. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  69. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  70. What we can learn from Ghalib
  71. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING

Pakistan’s judicial system is overstretched beyond capacity and the burgeoning population is compounding this. Since reform has its limitations in addressing workload, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms become critically important for legal assistance of the poor and the marginalised who are often left battling in the courts for years.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to an “amicable, conclusive and out of court resolution of dispute.” This includes a wide range of remedies such as negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration. Other forms include case management, ombudsmen schemes, early neutral evaluation, initial interpolation, etc. These processes are relatively inexpensive and expeditious compared to the conventional judicial processes and can be creative and flexible. For these reasons, many countries are experimenting with ADR programmes. In the United Kingdom, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of cases proceeding to trial over the past 20 years. This has been termed the phenomenon of the ‘vanishing trial’. The trend can be attributed to the availability of a wide range of private dispute resolution processes in the country and has its roots in the Woolf Reforms in 1990s, which aimed to address the complex adversarial nature of the civil justice system of England. In the landmark case of Cowl and others v. PCC, the apex court dismissed the appeal on the ground that the petitioner had failed to consider the methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution. This view was followed in Dunnett v. Railtrack and Hurst V Leeming.

Another policy initiative in the UK is the use of technology to provide court-based Online Dispute Resolution for low value civil claims. This has resulted in an increase in access to justice because it is a cheaper, more convenient and less forbidding system.

Pakistan embarked on its ADR journey back in 1998 with launching of pilot projects and legal study programmes. The ADR is both implicit and explicit in Pakistan’s legal framework. Today, judicially-backed ADR centres exist and in January 2017, an Alternative Dispute Resolution Bill was approved by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law. The law focuses on out-of-court settlements through Panchayats or Jirga and arbitrators appointed by trial courts with the consent of parties.

Here it is relevant to flag that the emphasis on traditional methods such as Panchayat and Jirga has its limitations as far as women’s rights are concerned, as they have often resulted in rulings against women. One such devastating example is Mukhtaran Mai, the survivor of a gang rape, which was a form of ‘honour revenge’ and took place on the orders of a tribal council. Similar horrific crimes against women include honour killings, live burials, and childhood marriages.

Part of the reason is lack of safeguards and codes-of-conduct to guide functioning. The current Bill aims to address this. It is critical that ADR mechanisms are empowering for women and will not force them into out-of-court settlements and create further obstacles for them to seek justice.

More broadly, there is also the need to spark discourse about legal rights surrounding the ADR and how its mechanisms can be used more effectively among the poor and marginalised groups, especially women. ADR training should be provided to judges and attorneys. Lawyers should inform clients to avail ADR as pre-trial proceeding and civil society should establish the necessary number of centres for conducting proceedings. There is also the need for outreach campaigns via media and specialized training programmes for lawyers and bar associations to garner greater buy-in from the legal community. It is critical to develop a cohort of community activists, including women, so that uptake of the ADR and accountability of forums to local level can be increased.

To conclude, development and mainstreaming of the ADR is necessary to address the backlog of cases, but it is equally important to develop safeguards so that the ADR empowers rather than undermines women’s access to justice. In addition, the societal context shaping gender biases must also be dealt with. Together, these measures can translate into real and concrete change for women in Pakistan.

By Leena Nishtar

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LATEST POSTS

NAYA PAKISTAN?

NAYA PAKISTAN?

September 12, 2018
Making ADR work for Women

Making ADR work for Women

September 12, 2018
Women’s Rights under Family Law
Shutting the Door on Refugees