KARACHI: Rejecting the criticism of judiciary, Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali says the country’s “time-tested judicial system has no defects”.

“Shortcomings actually lie with the institutions which are to implement judicial orders and judgements,” he said while speaking at an international seminar on “Mediation: Improving Business Climate and Promoting Communal Harmony” here on Saturday.

Organised by the National Centre for Dispute Resolution, the seminar was aimed at creating awareness about the benefits of mediation in improving business climate and promoting communal harmony with the resolution of disputes at their earliest stages.

Chief Justice Jamali said the judicial system “cannot deliver justice in the absence of credible and efficient institutions”, adding that it had resulted in piling of cases in courts.

He said it was high time to establish mediation centres in the country for resolution of disputes at their earlier stages and stressed the need for training judicial officers, lawyers, police officials and others concerned in this regard.

He said complicated and cumbersome litigation and legal procedures had caused an inordinate delay in the disposal of cases.

Chief Justice Jamali said delayed justice always added to the miseries of litigants.

“We are living in a society where people have no fear of God and the court’s orders are not complied with.”

He said the National Judicial Policy Making Committee had suggested in 2009 the establishment of mediation centres in major cities.

He advised the parliamentarians to look into the matter and take action for implementation of the committee’s proposal.

Retired Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, the president of the National Centre for Dispute Resolution, said pace of industrialisation, rampant globalisation, fast emergence of corporate sector in urban societies and, more significantly, prolific population growth, had increased workload in courts, compelling jurists and corporate leaders to search for new methods for speedy resolution of financial and other disputes.

He said the proverbial court delays, high cost of litigation and pendency of a large number of cases in courts were other major factors impelling the development of alternative dispute resolution as a substitute to the court litigation in modern times.

Mr Siddiqui said mediation offered a process of dispute resolution to the disputants which was without prejudice. “It is a procedure in which an impartial third party assists the parties (involved in a dispute) to reach a conclusion they desire, so as to end their malice and clash of interest.”

To accord statutory recognition to conciliation and mediation process, he said, the Code of Civil Procedure was amended and a new section -- 89-A -- and a new rule -- Rule 1-A-- was added to the code making it possible for the court to adopt conciliation and mediation as tools for expeditious dispute resolution.

SPEECH at SMIU: Speaking at the Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Chief Justice Jamali said it was an honour for him to be speaking at the esteemed institution where Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had received education.

“It was our bad luck to have lost the Quaid so soon after partition,” he lamented. “Not only did we lose a great leader, we also lost his ideology and vision. And later it led to our losing half of our country in the fall of Dhaka.”

“Today, we are divided. Class divide and differences of religion have given rise to racism and intolerance,” he said. “Even (Allama) Iqbal had warned us of this ahead of the creation of this country. But we paid no heed to his wise words.”

“Pakistan with so many natural resourses can be a prosperous country but our belief is weak,” he said. “This weak belief is taking us towards darkness.

“The only hope for Pakistan is our youth who can learn from past mistakes and carry on with a positive vision. They can change the fate of this nation.”

Sharing how impressed he was to be visiting Mr Jinnah’s alma mater, the chief justice said he wished its students the best for their future.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2016