1. Dissecting Pakistan’s Problem with Discrimination
  2. Preparing Tweets As Important As Preparing Guns
  3. Using Cricket to Heighten Hate
  4. The Art of Perception Management
  5. India’s Toxic Nationalism with a Runaway Media
  6. India’s Unhinged Media
  7. Khalid Zahid: Transforming Saudi Art
  8. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  9. Violence against Minorities
  10. Unsheltered
  11. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  12. How to Encourage Terrorism
  13. Faisalabad in 2028
  14. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  15. Child Sexual Abuse
  16. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  17. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  18. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  19. Steering Through Turbulence
  20. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  21. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  22. Making ADR work for Women
  23. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  24. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  25. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  26. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  27. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  28. Come on Skipper !
  29. GUMM
  30. Annus Horibilis
  31. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  32. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  33. Method in the Madness
  34. Legal System Reforms
  35. Power Over Impulse
  36. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  37. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  38. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  39. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  40. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  41. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  42. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  43. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  44. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  45. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  46. NEWS PICKS
  47. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  48. Fitness with the Mughal
  49. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  50. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  51. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  52. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  53. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  54. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  55. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  56. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  57. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  58. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  59. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  60. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  61. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  62. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  63. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  64. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  65. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  66. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  67. Money for nothing, bits for free
  68. FinTech
  69. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  70. Crisis of Civilization
  71. Child Sexual Abuse
  72. Education is the only Solution
  73. Fit for Purpose
  74. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  75. Mini meringue recipe
  76. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  77. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  78. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  79. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  80. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  81. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  82. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  83. Five major political events of 2017
  84. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  85. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  86. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  87. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  88. What we can learn from Ghalib
  89. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING
Thu, Apr 25, 2019
  1. Dissecting Pakistan’s Problem with Discrimination
  2. Preparing Tweets As Important As Preparing Guns
  3. Using Cricket to Heighten Hate
  4. The Art of Perception Management
  5. India’s Toxic Nationalism with a Runaway Media
  6. India’s Unhinged Media
  7. Khalid Zahid: Transforming Saudi Art
  8. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  9. Violence against Minorities
  10. Unsheltered
  11. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  12. How to Encourage Terrorism
  13. Faisalabad in 2028
  14. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  15. Child Sexual Abuse
  16. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  17. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  18. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  19. Steering Through Turbulence
  20. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  21. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  22. Making ADR work for Women
  23. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  24. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  25. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  26. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  27. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  28. Come on Skipper !
  29. GUMM
  30. Annus Horibilis
  31. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  32. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  33. Method in the Madness
  34. Legal System Reforms
  35. Power Over Impulse
  36. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  37. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  38. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  39. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  40. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  41. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  42. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  43. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  44. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  45. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  46. NEWS PICKS
  47. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  48. Fitness with the Mughal
  49. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  50. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  51. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  52. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  53. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  54. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  55. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  56. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  57. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  58. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  59. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  60. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  61. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  62. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  63. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  64. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  65. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  66. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  67. Money for nothing, bits for free
  68. FinTech
  69. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  70. Crisis of Civilization
  71. Child Sexual Abuse
  72. Education is the only Solution
  73. Fit for Purpose
  74. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  75. Mini meringue recipe
  76. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  77. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  78. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  79. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  80. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  81. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  82. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  83. Five major political events of 2017
  84. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  85. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  86. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  87. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  88. What we can learn from Ghalib
  89. 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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