Published Date: May 15, 2019
Govt. to introduce panchayat, alternative dispute resolution system: Riaz Fatyana
Chairperson, National Assembly Standing Committee on Law & Justice, Riaz Fatyana has said the government is trying to introduce panchayat system in the country and alternative dispute resolution laws in the parliament which will reduce burden on courts and provide transparent, cost effective and speedy justice to the people, especially to women and vulnerable groups.
Addressing a seminar on ‘Understanding Barriers for Women’s Access to Justice in Pakistan’, jointly organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the UN Women, Pakistan here on Tuesday, Riaz Fatyana said there are so many laws to protect rights of women, some of them are even contradictory to each other, which requires consolidation coupled with establishing a proper process to avoid conflict and providing immediate relief to the women in distress.
He said that lack of awareness among women about their rights, prevailing illiteracy, growing poverty, rising inequality and unnecessary delays in dispensation of justice necessitate the need reforms in civil and criminal court procedures, especially for ensuring women’s access to justice. He said the proposal of Qazi courts is also under consideration of incumbent government, where victim don’t require lawyers and will be provided with affordable and speedy justice. The Council of Islamic Ideology need to have women’s representation as the Council takes up issues, mostly related to women, Fatyana added.
Speaking n the occasion, Chairperson National Council on the Status of the Women (NCSW) Khawar Mumtaz said any dispute resolution system or justice system introduced by the government should be based on consensus and must be backed by a legal and regulatory framework. She said the scale of the issue of women’s access to justice is much bigger than we imagine. The challenge for us is to make our society more inclusive, especially for our minorities, who are vulnerable due to lack of access to justice.
She said violence and fear of violence are the biggest barriers for women victims to get access to justice, where conviction rate is already negligible. The Commission has identified three key areas for intervention to ensure women’s access to justice.