25 July, 2013

Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust Hosts Case Flow Management Seminar

Last Updated: 19 August 2013


JFA COP Sandra Feinzig and NCSC Volunteer Theresa Scott at BLAST seminar

On July 25th, the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) in collaboration with USAID's Justice for all (JFA) Program, hosted a seminar to discuss challenges and solutions to case flow management in Bangladesh's courts. The goal of the seminar was to discuss how to address the massive backlog of two million cases facing Bangladesh's courts with an efficient case management system and tracking mechanism for speedy disposal and disposition of cases. Approximately 30 participants attended the seminar including representatives from JFA, UNDP Justice Sector Facility Program, and BLAST lawyers, legal assistants, and case managers. 


During the seminar, JFA Court Excellence Volunteer Theresa Scott presented case management best practices, including case flow of family and criminal cases. Ms. Scott also shared insight on the role of the Court Administrator, and strategies to help alleviate case backlog by court clerks relieving sitting judges of administrative duties.


The key challenges identified during the seminar included the need to file a new petition and cause of action to execute a final judgment and the lack of working days of the courts due to a high number of judicial holidays. Recommendations to improve case flow management included creating parallel tracks for new and backlogged cases, implementing time management tools and forms for specific cases, and setting the next hearing or phase of the proceeding and the end of each case. One lawyer noted that the adoption of plea bargaining in Bangladesh would help alleviate the case backlog.


Following this productive seminar, JFA plans to continue to host meetings with BLAST and other stakeholders to establish case flow management techniques that will promote equitable access to justice for all citizens.