Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms can improve the delivery of Justice

Abu Sufian

At a workshop organized in the capital, speakers discussed building fair, peaceful, and inclusive societies to achieve the 16 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms need to be strengthened to ensure justice through partnership, they opined. They also discussed paving the way for a fair and peaceful society through the speedy disposal of pending cases in courts.

The workshop held recently attended by representatives of various ministries and institutions of the government, representatives of non-governmental organizations and civil society, and representatives of development aid organizations. Organized with the support of GIZ, the German Development Cooperation Agency, representatives of the Law and Justice Department of the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Supreme Court, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and European Union (EU) were also present.

Akhter Hossain, Principal Coordinator for SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office said, “If we do not achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-16, it is not possible to achieve other goals. Bangladesh has already been globally recognized for achieving SDG targets. If a strong information management system is adopted based on public-private partnership, I believe, the initiatives taken by our government will play a role in building a peaceful, justice-based, and inclusive society. Delay in obtaining justice disrupts peace and order in society. I am hopeful that after this workshop, we will be able to work more cohesively and achieve the desired goals.”

Md. Golam Sarwar, Secretary, Law and Justice Department said, “We all have a common goal to build a peaceful and justice-based inclusive society. SDG 16 aims to ensure justice for all. Law and Judiciary along with other ministries are working to achieve various targets related to SDG. In 2018, with the help of GIZ, the Ministry of Law undertook an activity called Justice Audit through which the baseline of SDG-16 was determined.

Highlighting the Bangladesh Government’s commitment to ‘Leaving No One Behind’, Sheikh Humayun Kabir, Joint Secretary (Budget and Development) Law, and Judiciary Department said, “Government has launched ‘Online Legal Aid Service’ to ensure justice for poor and helpless citizens. In the last year alone, more than 80,000 citizens, including women, children, persons with disabilities and marginalized groups, have received government legal aid.”

Martina Burkard, GIZ Bangladesh said, “At GIZ Bangladesh we are committed to the implementation of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are working diligently to ensure justice for all with the support of various ministries and departments of the Government of Bangladesh.”

During the plenary session, distinguished panelists including representatives of the Ministry of Law, NGOs, and development partners reviewed a wide range of issues related to achieving the 16th SDG target. They identified the limitations existing in the judicial system and proposed solutions. They also emphasized the establishment of effective mechanisms to jointly monitor and report on SDG 16.

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