ISLAMABAD: The national judicial policymaking committee and the governing body of Access to Justice Development Fund (AJDF) on Friday regretted lack of proper training, professionalism of police and prosecutors as key factors in the underperformance of the criminal justice system.

Presided over by Chief Justice of Pa­­k­­­istan Umar Ata Bandial, the comm­it­t­­e­­e resolved that the process of pro­secution of cases could improve only by the specialised cadre of investigation in police department, and strengthening of prosecution department and its coordination with investigation departm­e­nt.

The committee meeting was called to review the performance of justice sector institutions, including judiciary, police, prosecution, prisons, special courts and administrative tribunals with regard to pendency of cases, convictions, acquittals, submissions of challans, appeals, jail conditions, etc.

The committee also reviewed the gender-based violence statistics and emphasised on the establishment of dedicated courts for trial of gender-based violence cases.

The committee also directed the Federal Board of Revenue to improve its capacity to extend efficient assistance to courts for revenue cases disposal. The high courts were asked to promote alternative dispute resolution to reduce burden of unnecessary litigation on courts.

While chairing a meeting of the governing body of Access to Justice-Deve­lopment Fund (AJDF), CJP Bandial called for efficient use of the fund for development of district judiciary and courts in less developed regions.

The meeting approved awareness strategy to improve the functionality of district legal empowerment committees in 124 districts for provision of free legal aid facility to the deserving litigants.

The AJDF general body also appro­ved Rs38m funding proposals for judicial academies and urged high courts to ensure provision of facilities to female judicial officers, staff, lawyers and litigants in all districts.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2022

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