Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania

Remarks by the EU Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara at the TAIEX online workshop

Islamabad , 02/03/2021 - 15:00, UNIQUE ID: 210302_9
Speeches of the Ambassador

Remarks by the Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan H. E. Ms Androulla Kaminara

Online workshop on improving access to justice under EU’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) Programme, 2 March 2021

  • Thank you, the Chief Justice of Pakistan , Honourable Mr. Justice Gulzar Ahmed  and Dr Muhammad Raheem Awan, Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP)  and our Brussels INTPA Taiex team for organizing this impressing event in Pakistan

Welcome to the participants from the Supreme Court.

  • Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mushir Alam, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Hon'ble Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Hon'ble Mr. Justice Munib Akhtar, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Hon'ble Mr. Justice Yahya Afridi, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan

And special welcome to the experts from the judiciary of EU Member States:

  • Ms Mariaemanuela Guerra

Judge, Supreme Court of Cassation, Italy

  • Mr Arnd Weishaupt, Judge, Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf , Germany
  • Mr Martin Vomhof, Presiding judge, court of commerce (Regional court), Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Ms Anna Tengberg, Judge, District court, Malmö, Sweden

Welcome all other speakers and participants to the workshop on “Informal settlement of disputes, mediation, arbitration and provision of free Legal Aid”

  • Express satisfaction about the fact that this event could be realized as first peer-to-peer dialogue between European judges and the Pakistani judiciary to share the systems of arbitration, mediation and free legal aid in European MS (Germany, Italy and Sweden) and Pakistan.
  • Count personal story of background: You met Chief Justice at panel of Asma Jahangir conference 2019 and exchanged the idea of strengthening collaboration between European and Pakistani courts, follow up meeting with Registrar SC and LJCP, COVID outbreak, 18th of August 2020 personal meeting with Chief Justice to agree on a online event and this is finally taking place today.
  • This kind of exchange between European experts and partner countries under Taiex was in the past only open to neighbouring countries of the EU. Only in 2020 the program opened to other partner countries and 30 requests for exchange were approved in this phase. The Supreme Court and the Law and Justice Commission showed interest in the program and were selected as partner despite a great competition, because their request was of excellent quality and of special interest for the European Union.
    • This initiative falls under the priorities of the   Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP) between the European Union and Pakistan. The aim of this 5-year Engagement Plan, is to build a strategic relationship by forging a partnership for peace and development rooted in shared values, principles and commitments.
    • EU and Pakistan agreed as one priority in the SEP on collaboration in Democracy, Governance, Human Rights and Socio-Economic Development.
    • Rule of law guarantees fundamental rights and values and supports an investment-friendly business environment. It is one of the fundamental values upon which the EU is built.
    • The rule of law is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union as one of the common values for all Member States. [1]The core of the rule of law is effective judicial protection, which requires the independence, quality and efficiency of national justice systems and access to justice for all citizen.
    • Strengthen the efficiency of the judiciary and equal access to justice for all citizens is one of Pakistan’s policy priorities in the rule of law sector.
    • Initiative already undertaken by the Pakistani government and judiciary to address the significant backlog of cases pending at courts and access to justice, i.e. by the institutionalization of free legal aid under the Access to Justice Development Fund, managed federally by the LJCP and look forward to learn more about this scheme.
    • The idea of this workshop is also to share European systems, practices and experiences on extra judicial settlement of disputes, mediation and arbitration as well as free legal aid to see which elements could be integrated into the Pakistani system to make it more transparent and efficient. The Law and Justice Commission also expressed a special interest on topics linked to the administration of justice, digitalization and data exchange and data management.
    • This event is not a stand-alone intervention. Study-visits of Pakistani expert to selected member states to study the systems in place to address arbitration and mediation and free legal in practice are planned as soon as COVID allows.
    • The Pakistani government and the EU agreed as well on the “Promotion of Rule of Law program” in 2020. This program has a federal component with the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan as key partner and will provide targeted assistance to the Rule of Law roadmaps of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the newly merged districts and Baluchistan. The program started in January 2021 and will be implemented by the UNDP, UN Women and UNODC, all of whom participated in this workshop. Express confidence that models discussed in this workshop will be taken on board by the Pakistani Judiciary to enhance the system of mediation and free legal aid and can be carried forward in the UN program.
    • Wish the participants a fruitful and interesting discussion and hope that this event will be only the first and more exchange and dialogue between the Law and Justice Commission and the European MS Judiciaries will follow.

Thank you very much for your attention!

Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan and the European Union launched a two-day online workshop on improving access to justice under EU’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange  Programme

 

 

[1] Under the rule of law, all public powers always act within the constraints set out by law, in accordance with the values of democracy and fundamental rights, and under the control of independent and impartial courts

 

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