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Pakistan Attempts Mobile Mediation

Monday, September, 2, 2013


Backlogged courts are not a problem just in the United States.  Many countries around the world are noticing serious problems rising out of an extreme number of cases going into courtrooms, cases that might be solved in another manner.  Pakistan has recently launched a new program that involves mobile mediation– a traveling bus will allow those involved in smaller civil cases to have their stories heard and solutions reached more quickly.


In Pakistan, case delay is a major problem for anyone who has to move forward with legal action.  Currently, there are 1.4 million pending cases across the country.  When the legal system fails to act quickly, participants may even resort to cultural solutions for their problems, known as all-male gatherings of elders in the community, known as jirgas.  While these meetings tend to reach immediate solutions, they also have brutal consequences for the party that loses: buried alive and death are some of the more popular options.


The problems in the judicial system have also given support to the Taliban, since the group recognized the issue and raised awareness about the potential for Islamic courts that promote swift justice.  Last week, the new mobile court got its first chance to speed justice up for citizens: the wood paneled courtroom visited Peshawar to hear 29 cases.  Some of the first cases heard included property disputes and letting juveniles out of jail.  One local resident said that his case was resolve even though it had been pending with the local courts for more than six months.


The goal for the government is to put together at least 11 more buses to travel a route around the country.  The mediation program is targeted exactly to smaller cases, since these can be extremely frustrating for citizens who want quick justice.  The program is expected to help close out hundreds of cases quickly if implemented as planned.