• Usman Hameed HEC Postdoc Fellow at University of Glasgow UK. Bahria University School of Law Islamabad Pakistan..
  • Sultana Mustafa Advocate High Court.
  • Khuram Shahzad Advocate High Court Pakistan.




Every institution is important for the functioning of a democracy, but the judiciary’s role is even more vital as it bears the onerous responsibility of dispensing justice across society. However, owing to public inclination towards litigation, the need for judicial attention will always outweigh the availability of its time. Delay in disposal of cases is widespread in most of the states and Pakistan is no exception. However, procedures are being developed to draw maximum benefit out of the available judicial time. Most of these procedures apply case management techniques to fairly distribute judicial time to different kinds of cases depending on their specific requirements. Obviously, not all cases or stages within those cases require equal amount of judicial attention, case management techniques require us to prioritize cases in order of their complexity, so that each category may be assigned the amount of time and attention it deserves from a judge. Delay in disposal of cases is the result of several variables that are intricately interconnected. In an ideal world, justice should be administered swiftly, but in practice, there can be hurdles in the way of this outwardly simple goal. Aa an example, attorneys would constantly ask for adjournments on one pretext or the other. Judges, on their part, would happily grant their requests to ease their workload. Likewise, never-ending cross examinations and lengthy arguments make it even harder to dispose of a case, not to speak of time spent by judges on writing judgments and coming to terms with miscellaneous applications and administrative work. While there is nothing much that can be done concerning dilatory tactics of lawyers, a lot can, however, be done about efficient management of judicial time. The three most frequently employed techniques are Pre-Trial Review, Differentiated Case Management (DCM) and Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). According to UNODC’s Best Practices Guide, by adopting these, time spent on disposal of a case can be brought down to one third. It is reassuring to note that case management techniques are being put to practice in Pakistan by introducing legislation, such as the Punjab Alternate Dispute Resolution Act, 2019. However, the public is still inclined towards litigation. Perhaps, one of the reasons is court driven rather than the community centric nature of our case management techniques. 

Keywords: Justice, ADR, ex-parte, administrative meetings, adjournments, litigation.   


Author Biographies

Usman Hameed, HEC Postdoc Fellow at University of Glasgow UK. Bahria University School of Law Islamabad Pakistan..




Sultana Mustafa, Advocate High Court.






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