A bill of a historic nature was moved in the National Assembly on 24th Nov 2015 by MNA Dr Arif Alvi. It is a Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration bill (which shall modify the Criminal Procedure Code). In view of the tremendous burden on the Judicial Courts of Pakistan where a huge backlog of cases exist it is essential that other processes which prevent conflicts and disputes from exacerbating should be encouraged in society.
Dr Alvi in describing the objectives of the Bill in the National Assembly said that Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms, and measures such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration have been used the world over in recent years as effective tools to reduce conflict between individuals, communities and businesses. Historically in all the provinces of Pakistan such measures have been used in the form of local panchayats and jirgas but without any formal training, encouragement, structure or restraints.
There is tremendous damage caused by lingering disputes if left unresolved with matters pending in the courts or because of lack of affordability, as most disputes do not even reach the courts of law. Delays and non-resolution lead to deaths, deprivation, loss of billions to the economy, closure of businesses and severe damage to society.
The following issues are described in the schedule for application of this law:
- A dispute between a landlord and tenant.
- Commercial disputes of trade and commerce and relating.
- Business documents, partnerships and contracts.
- Sale of land and goods
- Mercantile disputes
The proposed Bill is historic in nature as it would go a long way in reducing friction, disputes, and conflicts in society as well as in trade and businesses.
Full Text of the Bill is below: