Re­duce and con­sol­i­date the num­ber of hear­ings: Ju­di­ciary In­tegrity Scan Re­port 2016

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Dorji

Re­view to what ex­tent the num­ber of nec­es­sary hear­ings could be re­duced and con­sol­i­date the nu­mer­ous steps as much as pos­si­ble into one hear­ing in or­der to avoid that court users have to come re­peat­edly week af­ter week for hear­ings even in sim­ple cases and re­view to what ex­tent pro­ce­dural law should give judges a more ac­tive role in pro­ce­dures, so they can guide par­ties along the piv­otal point of the case, in­stead of hav­ing time wasted with dis­cus­sion “in all di­rec­tions”.

Th­ese were some of the rec­om­men­da­tions made by the ju­di­cial in­tegrity scan re­port launched in the cap­i­tal last Wed­nes­day at the con­fer­ence hall of the, Supreme Court. The launch was graced by Chief Jus­tice of Bhutan, Chair­per­son of the Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion and Coun­try Di­rec­tor for Swiss De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion

The Chief Jus­tice of Bhutan, in his open­ing re­marks stated, “The Scan is cer­tainly not a re­sponse or an in­di­ca­tion of cor­rup­tion cri­sis in the ju­di­ciary, but a tool to main­tain and im­prove the in­tegrity safe­guards in the ju­di­ciary. The Re­port I am hope­ful will help us to iden­tify weak points in court ad­min­is­tra­tion and ser­vices and prompt pol­icy changes to cor­rect the anom­alies and the short­com­ings.”

Ju­di­ciary In­tegrity Scan is a tool which aims to im­prove the le­gal and in­sti­tu­tional frame­work for ju­di­cial in­tegrity based on the Ban­ga­lore Prin­ci­ples of Ju­di­cial Con­duct, the Mea­sures for the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ban­ga­lore Prin­ci­ples of Ju­di­cial Con­duct, and the Im­ple­men­ta­tion Guide and Eval­u­a­tive Frame­work for Ar­ti­cle 11 of the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion against Cor­rup­tion – UNCAC. The scan was ini­ti­ated by The Royal Court of Jus­tice in co­op­er­a­tion with the Bhutan Na­tional Le­gal In­sti­tute and the An­tiCor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion.

The scan com­ple­mented the Royal Court of Jus­tice in its mis­sion of “uphold­ing and pro­tect­ing due process of law, fair trial, rule of law and re­view­ing sys­tem” and on­go­ing re­form ini­tia­tives.

Not­with­stand­ing the full com­pli­ance with the Ban­ga­lore im­ple­men­ta­tion mea­sure, the scan has iden­ti­fied the ar­eas of im­prove­ment in the ju­di­cial ser­vices and ac­cord­ingly rec­om­mended mea­sures in im­prov­ing it. Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions from the re­port has been al­ready ini­ti­ated. The re­cent and most con­crete be­ing the train­ing on ethics and in­tegrity for 226 bench clerks. Fur­ther­more, the agen­cies have been im­ple­ment­ing other rec­om­men­da­tions con­cern­ing them as part of their on­go­ing re­forms.

The re­port will serve as a ref­er­ence doc­u­ment for the ju­di­cial sec­tor in strength­en­ing the in­tegrity re­forms in the ju­di­ciary. Fur­ther­more such ini­tia­tive will strengthen the pub­lic trust on the im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tion such as ju­di­ciary.

More so, this Scan re­port will be de­lib­er­ated dur­ing the 14th Re­gional Sem­i­nar for ADB/ OECD Anti-Cor­rup­tion Ini­tia­tive for Asia and the Pa­cific to be held in the coun­try in Novem­ber this year. The re­port will be used as ba­sis for pol­icy di­a­logue on trend, chal­lenges and lessons in en­hanc­ing in­tegrity in crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem in the re­gion.

In or­der to make free­dom of in­for­ma­tion, out­reach to me­dia, cit­i­zens and state bod­ies the scan rec­om­mends to pub­lish more de­ci­sions through dif­fer­ent chan­nels through web­site, case re­porters and le­gal com­men­taries and to pro­vide a few key words on what a case is about to fa­cil­i­tate re­search .

Fa­cil­i­tate a se­ries of train­ings for jour­nal­ist on the ju­di­cial sys­tem and on good prac­tices of ju­di­cial re­port­ing, pos­si­bly with donor sup­port. Make it good prac­tice of me­dia re­ports to check the le­gal ac­cu­racy of a draft re­port with a suf­fi­ciently trained pro­fes­sional, the scan fur­ther rec­om­mends.

Dr. Til­man Hoppe and prac­tic­ing Judge Han­sjorg Ed­win Scherer con­ducted the Scan in the coun­try in 2015.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.