Govt moves on quick disposal of cases
Courts in Bangladesh are burdened with a huge backlog of cases, and the government has undertaken a number of steps to expedite disposal of cases, Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.
The minister spoke at the launch of the first training programme on arbitration in the country, organised by Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) and Washington-based International Law Institute (ILI) with the support of International Finance Corporation, at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.
A number of significant amendments have been enacted making alternative dispute resolution (ADR) a mandatory method for settlement of disputes, he said. "But to get results of these changes in our laws, we require trained ADR professionals in the country."
The training programme will help a long way in creating a pool of ADR professionals in the country, Ahmed said.
The minister also praised the important role played by BIAC in institutionalising arbitration in the country and said he would try to give BIAC an institutional role in Bangladesh's laws.
He said he would encourage government departments to select BIAC arbitration rules in their contracts.
Presiding over the meeting, Latifur Rahman, a member of BIAC Council and chairman of Transcom Group, said trained manpower was essential to make ADR successful in Bangladesh.
Three business bodies -- International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry -- established BIAC to facilitate the resolution of commercial disputes through ADR, Rahman said.
BIAC is conducting awareness building events and arranging training with the help of the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, he said.
The training, conducted with the assistance of the ILI, is a step in the right direction, Rahman said.
Rahman sought government support for the institution, as has been the practice in such arbitration centres in Hong Kong and Singapore.
IFC has assisted ADR centres around the globe, said IFC Country Manager Kyle Kelhofer, adding that they were delighted at the way BIAC was progressing.
He offered continuing support from IFC to BIAC. "The business community will be able to take advantage of the changes in our laws, with the assistance of BIAC."
Toufiq Ali, chief executive of BIAC, said recent amendments in Bangladesh's laws have made ADR mandatory in many areas. "This training programme will fill the dearth of ADR professionals in the country."
Rokia A Rahman, president of MCCI; Carlos Davila, a representative of ILI; and Sabur Khan, president of DCCI, were also present.