Law Commission starts work on ADR on priority basis
The Law Commission has started a research on the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system on priority basis as part of its two-year 15-point work plan on the judicial reforms.
The commission has given priority to the ADR, as the government has taken an initiative to reintroduce it as a mandatory trial mode both in the civil and criminal courts to remove the logjam of cases in order to mitigate the suffering of justice seekers.
The government had instructed the commission last year to make necessary recommendations for enacting a law with the rules so that both the civil and criminal cases can be settled out of court, sources said, adding that about 15 lakh cases remain pending in the lower courts across the country.
The commission aims to submit the recommendations to the government within four months.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told The Daily Star recently that the government has provided all necessary information and data to the Law Commission to prepare recommendations for enactment of a law on ADR.
"Amendments to the century-old Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) are needed for implementation of the new justice mechanism, which has been proved effective in many countries," he said.
Once the ADR is in place, lawyers can mediate between the parties and settle their disputes out of courts, he said, adding that the system will save both time and money of litigants.
Due to the delay in disposing of cases in the court, the litigants are being deprived of justice and being affected psychologically, he said.
The law minister also said that some donor agencies, including UNDP and CIDA, have already offered to provide necessary assistance for resumption of ADR system.
When asked about the ADR system launched during the tenure of BNP-led four-party alliance government, he said that although the ADR was introduced earlier, it was not effective.
The present government will restore the system and implement it effectively, he added.
The reconstituted body of the Law Commission drew up the 15-point work plan on December 17 last year. The plan includes reforms of the laws on family affairs, the police, the prisons and the contempt of court.