Courts wade through hefty backlog
THE new government is trying to speed up the sluggish judiciary, but is faced with an enormous backlog of cases.
Of the more than 170,000 criminal cases filed from January 1 to June 30, nearly 50,000 have yet to go to trial, Union Supreme Court Chief Justice U Tun Tun Oo said at a public meeting on August 4.
Balancing the need to speed up the legal process while ensuring everyone receives justice, the Supreme Court will work together with local courts to distribute the cases and manage performance in order to boost public trust in the legal system, he said in his speech.
The Supreme Court worked through exactly half of its 1092 criminal cases, he said. State and regional courts got through a little more than half of their 5136 criminal cases. District courts did better, working through 6543 of their 11,290 criminal cases.
Township courts had the best rate of trial completion but were also responsible for a significant majority of the outstanding cases. They heard nearly 120,000 of the roughly 160,000 criminal cases filed, leaving about 40,000 pending.
Many civil cases are also still pending, with the Supreme Court faring the best in those suits, covering a bit more than half of the 2329 civil cases.
Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw’s motor vehicle courts got through all of their more than 60,000 cases. Nearly all of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw’s 18,881 cases involving municipal offences under city development law are complete.
Advocate U Win Hlaing lauded the new government for handling trials more efficiently and trimming the number of unaddressed cases.
“The delays are occurring because there are so many left-over cases that are not finished yet,” he said. – Translation by Emoon
and Thiri Min Htun