Dispute resolutions at the community level could help conflicting parties reach fruitful negotiations and thus reduce the backlog of cases, said Law Minister Anisul Huq on Wednesday.
“Only 13 percent of the justice seekers try the formal justice system while 87 percent rely on community level mediations,” he said, quoting from a recent audit on justice in Bangladesh.
He mentioned that the judiciary is overburdened with more than three million pending cases and many of which are minor in nature.
The law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister was addressing the opening session of a two-day training programme on the restorative justice approach in mediation.
Restorative justice is a voluntary, community-based response to criminal behaviour that attempts to bring together the victim, offender and the community, in an effort to address the harm caused by the criminal behaviour.
It brings the victim and the offender in a safe and controlled environment to share their opinions, honestly discuss their problems and finally come to a mutual beneficial resolution.
The Judicial Administration Training Institution, the National Legal Aid Service Organisation and the GIZ, a German organisation working on international cooperation, jointly organised the training for district-level legal aid officers at the JATI auditorium in the city.
“Despite having criminal court and judiciary system, there are various kinds of problems and burdens. That is why we are unable to settle disputes quickly at the community level,” said Justice Khondker Musa Khaled, director general of the JATI.
“I think the restorative justice is an initiative to solve the problems,” he added.