Having succeeded in aiding the quick disposal and reduction of the huge backlog of cases, Case Management Committees (CMCs) are being formed in the remaining 61 district courts alongside in five metropolitan session courts, Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain said yesterday.
The Supreme Court Special Committee for Judicial Reforms took the decision in September, he told a national seminar on CMCs, organised by Judicial Strengthening Project (JUST) at the Supreme Court auditorium in the capital.
JUST has been jointly implemented by Bangladesh Supreme Court and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Functioning as pilot schemes in Dhaka, Kishoreganj and Rangamati district courts since February 2013, CMCs have been monitoring case flow management, identify causes of delays and taking necessary remedial measures to reduce delays and ensure speedy disposal.
The huge backlog was one key constraint of Bangladesh's judiciary, creating considerable pressure on the justice delivery system and hindering access to justice, said the chief justice.
SM Kuddus Zaman, national project director of JUST, said around 2.7 million cases had pending around the country.
Chief Justice Muzammel Hossain said the yearly case disposal rate in three pilot districts had increased from 74 percent to 98 percent.
He said, “In our justice system the overall responsibility of case flow management lies with the judges...I firmly believe that judges can, through effective utilisation of Case Management Committees, bring a qualitative change in this regard.”
He also opined considering new and innovative measures to expedite speedy dispensation of justice, including amending some provisions in existing laws.
Law Minister Anisul Huq said there has been a usual rise in the number of cases and new and innovative ways should be researched to reduce the time taken for trials. “The performance of Case Management Committees, however, made us optimistic,” he added.
UNDP Country Director Pauline Tamesis emphasised joint efforts of all justice institutions to ensure coordination and address the issue of widening access to justice for all, including people who were vulnerable.
Judges of both Appellate and High Court divisions of the Supreme Court, judges of district courts and metropolitan session judge courts and chief judicial and chief metropolitan magistrates attended.