JUST’s support to judiciary lauded
The highest policy and oversight body the Project Steering Committee (PSC) of Judicial Strengthening Project (JUST) met for the second time on July 9, 2013 to review project progress, and resolve policy and strategic challengesas faced by the project in the process of project implementation.
The PSC members led by the hon’ble Chief Justice of Bangladesh also the Chair of the PSC Mr. Justice Md. Muzzammel Hossain discussed critical challenges faced by the judiciary mandated to establish rule of law and thanked UNDP for taking up this technical assistance project JUST to support judiciary to expedite judicial reforms initiatives and enhancing its overall performance through providing technical and logistic support such as capacity enhancement activities, ICT equipment, setting up training facility at the Supreme Court. While also establishing a Court building at Rangamati, waiting and rest room facilities at the three pilot district courts at Kishoreganj, Rangamati and Dhaka to ensure quality justice service delivery and enhance access to justice opportunity for vulnerable groups, women, children and adibhashi communities(indigenous people).
PSC members i.e. the government officials mostly additional secretaries from different ministries also applauded the maiden initiatives taken by UNDP to support judiciary of Bangladesh which is a significant milestone in terms of judicial reforms and ensuring rule of law in the country.
Member Secretary of PSC and National Project Director, Mr. SM Kuddus Zaman presented the overall achievements of the project while the Chief Technical Advisor of JUST, Mr. Jakhongir Khaydarov, presented key challenges, revised work plan, and the financial report to the committee for approval. Pointing to the training facility established by JUST Project at the first floor of the Supreme Court Auditorium, where the very meeting held, the Chief Justice commented, `This room is now used for training of the judges, seminar and other purposes, these furniture, logistics, everything is provided by this project. Previously I had to hire all these every time on various occasions’.
Salient progress made by the project was also discussed in the meeting which include the establishment of 7 Case Management Committees of which 4 is in the High Court Division of the Supreme Court and 3 at the three pilot district courts; Business Process Mapping of the Justice System and Capacity Assessment of the Registrar Office were initiated; Facilities for women court users developed at pilot district courts; mediation awareness workshops held in all three pilot districts and TOT on mediation conducted in Dhaka and 19 family court judgestrained;40 Bench Officers of the Supreme Court and 40 Court officials including judges trained on ICTat Kishoreganj; 40 Bench Officers of the Supreme Court were trained on English Language and Legal terminologies;Developed case flow management software to ensure prompt and efficient maintaining mechanism; National Judicial Workshop on potential ICT in Case Management on Court Administration organized. Conducted ICT Need Assessment study for three pilot district court and Trained 40 bench officer of Supreme on English Language and legal terminology.
The meeting was attended by the members of the Supreme Court Special Committee for Judicial Reforms Madam Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Mr. Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Mr. Justice Mohammad Anwarul Haque, Mr. Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury from the Appellate Division and Mr. Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Madam Justice Naima Haider from the High Court Division.From the Government of Bangladesh, the meeting was attended by Additional Secretary, Finance division, Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed; Joint Secretary (Law and Planning), Ministry of Home Affairs Mr. Shawkat Mostafa Phd; Joint Secretary (Admin), Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Mr. AYM Golam Kibria; Joint Secretary, Law and Inst. Division, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Syed Aminul Islam; Joint Secretary, ERD Mr. S.M. EhsanKabir, Director IMED Dr. Md. Akhteruzzaman; and Chief, Programming division, Planning Commission, Mr.Khandaker Nuruzzaman.
Assistant Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh Ms. Won Young Hong represented the country Director of UNDP in the meeting and replied to queries raised by the PSC members specially by the government officials.