Vision for Technological Transformation - Judiciary in Pakistan

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  Islamabad: 14 Dec 2023: Hon’ble Mr Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah judge Supreme Court of Pakistan, and also the Chairman of the National Judicial Automation Committee (NJAC), called for the first meeting of the NJAC. The meeting was attended by several members including Mr Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, a judge in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Dr. Syed Muhammad Anwer, a judge in the Federal Shariat Court, Mr. Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar, a judge in the High Court of Sindh, Mr Justice Syed Muhammad Attique Shah, a judge in the Peshawar High Court, Mr Justice Muhammad Hashim Khan Kakar, Senior Puisne Judge in the High Court of Balochistan, and Mr Justice Babar Sattar, a judge in the Islamabad High Court, Islamabad.

During the discussion, the committee acknowledged that while high courts have made efforts to automate the court system, more robust and technology-oriented court processes and holistic data of cases, lawyers, and judgments are needed to make the system efficient and transparent. Justice Shah proposed the concept of technological transformation, which involves forming a National Judicial Data Exchange Policy. T

he policy aims to provide stakeholders and policymakers in the justice sector with real-time data to monitor and formulate policies that ensure the efficient delivery of justice. The policy aims to create a National Law Digest that will store all the judgments issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the High Courts.

This will allow the litigants to obtain authentic copies of judgments. Additionally, the repository will be AI-equipped, which will enable legal researchers and the legal community to conduct precise and relevant legal research. Furthermore, the policy aims to implement a national AI-powered scheduler to manage court calendars and assign hearing dates, reducing delays caused by unnecessary adjournments. In addition, the vision includes the implementation of online and digital payment systems for all court-related procedures.

It also involves constructing verification infrastructure and facilities to verify the identities and documents of litigants using biometrics and other advanced verification methods. Mr. Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar emphasized the need for data standardization, IT training for court staff, and a digital digest of case laws.

The Committee has decided to develop a plan of action with a specific time frame to bring about a transformation. To achieve this, they will design templates and mechanisms to collect real-time data uniformly. The Committee will form a commission comprising IT experts to visit the courts and gather information. The Chair emphasized the importance of developing a centralized data system for the entire judiciary to ensure the efficient delivery of justice and reduce delays in case disposal. The NJAC is a Committee of Hon’ble Judges of the Superior Judiciary with the aim to introduce technology into court processes uniformly across the country. The Committee efforts are concentrated to make judiciary efficient, smart, and transparent. The initiatives taken by the NJAC will go a long way in reducing the backlog of cases pending adjudication at different tiers of the Judiciary. Press Release –(Muhammad Tanveer) Deputy Secretary - Admin

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