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 Judicial accountability and reforms By Ishwar Khatiwada
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Posted on 07-12-06 8:25 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Ishwar resides in Boston. From The Kantipur Post. Several recent decisions by the special judicial court on corruption-related cases in favor of notorious corrupt political leaders reveal Nepal's inefficient and frequently biased judicial system. Such decisions call for immediate reforms to reinvigorate the present legal system to deliver justice and create a corruption free, efficient and fair society, which will aid in Nepal's economic development. A modern economy requires judicial system of such a nature. Every study undertaken by a reputable international research body of Nepal's judiciary system has pointed out that Nepal's judicial system, except the Supreme Court, is mired in corruption and is grossly inefficient and often unfair in delivering justice. These studies have consistently revealed that lawsuits and criminal cases in Nepal's courts have piled up for years without any timely decisions, raising the cost to the society. The business community frequently complains about the courts' inability to ensure the enforcement of contracts. It is not uncommon in Nepal to find the judicial system penalizing good behavior and rewarding bad ones. There are judges who are more skilled in covering up and indulging in corruption rather than preventing it. A recent decision by the special judicial court related to the former Nepali Congress central committee member and Minister Khum Bahadur Khadka exposes this ugly situation and supports the public outcry that many judges are unaccountable and out of touch with the citizens they are supposed to serve. It is very unlikely that the judges could not have found any evidence of wrong doing in this case. Instead, it is very likely that the decision in Khadka's case was subject to the influence of the accused money and political muscle. This action only provides the wrong kind of incentives and weakens both our society and the economy. No doubt, there are some people in our justice system with impeccable character and integrity, but they seem helpless to stem the rot in the system. In the highly respected Transparency International's "corruption perception index", Nepal's ranking is quite low, 123 out of 159 countries. Any corruption in the judicial system will have negative ramifications over all judicial oversight and the executive and legislative systems, undermining the checks and balance in the system and generating more corruption. In addition, there is a strong link between the efficiency of the judicial system and economic development. Many cross-country studies on the links between judicial accountability and economic growth have shown a strong link between a fair judiciary system and per capita income growth through various channels, particularly through reduction of corruption that reduces investment, output, and employment. Why do we have such an inefficient judicial system despite its long history of operation? The answer lies partly in its very structure and in the integrity of those who are in charge of the judicial system. The judges have a high degree of desired independence with little or no scrutiny. While judicial independence is clearly desired, the absence of any oversight mechanisms, allows the miscreants to face no credible threat of punishment. In addition, Nepal's legislative body itself has proven to be so corrupt that it is not in their interest to introduce or bring forward mechanisms to revamp the country's judicial system. During the early 1990s, after the popular people's movement, the judicial system was granted a very high degree of autonomy. Since then, besides exhibiting remarkable adaptability in country's new judicial settings, it has also delivered some important historical constitutional decisions in the context of the nation's uncertain political environment, guiding and enforcing newly established constitutional values. Despite these important achievements, it has done a poor job in controlling corruption in the system, particularly in the appellate and the district courts. The first step in fixing problems in our judiciary system would be for it to acknowledge that a major fundamental problem exists in the system. Our judicial system should set up a new independent council within their jurisdiction or revamp the existing one to monitor the probity of the courts and to investigate allegations of corruption and other misconduct by the judges. This council should be completely autonomous and equipped with sufficient resources- human, physical and technical. The public must be informed of the existence of such an independent judicial council. Further, the media and the civil society should play a more vigilant role in exposing miscreants in the judicial system. Timely publication of court decisions would definitely improve the transparency of the judicial system. The Nepal Bar Association also can play a crucial role in helping clean up our messy judicial system by pressuring judicial judges and legislators for a much-needed reform. Another strategy in the long run would be to create demand for the best and the brightest persons in judicial jobs by giving much needed incentives in the form of higher salaries and other necessary benefits. Our legislative branch also must ensure that the judiciary system's employees have a good pay system, which allows employees an acceptable standard of living. The parliament should allocate a sufficient budget for our important judicial system. One of the most frequently cited solutions to mitigate corruption in the public sector is to pay employees well so that they are not forced to pursue self-serving rather than public serving-ends. The judicial system must begin to set its house in order to help build a fair society, enforcing law and order in the country, restoring integrity and competence in the legal system, and securing property rights, thereby, giving a big boost to the economic development of our nation. The future Constituent Assembly will be operating at the most auspicious time to reconstruct our dysfunctional judicial system. The long-term benefits to our society from reforming our judicial system will certainly exceed the costs incurred in restructuring it at the beginning. As Brobbet's Divine Mandate notes, "without honor, there is no justice, without justice, there is no future".
 
Posted on 07-12-06 10:58 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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The author writes: "Every study undertaken by a reputable international research body of Nepal's judiciary system has pointed out that Nepal's judicial system, except the Supreme Court, is mired in corruption and is grossly inefficient and often unfair in delivering justice." Could the author please cite a single study -- "undertaken by a reputable international research body" -- making such a claim? As a reader, I'd be interested in the findings of such a study. ***** The author writes: "It is very unlikely that the judges could not have found any evidence of wrong doing in this case. Instead, it is very likely that the decision in Khadka's case was subject to the influence of the accused money and political muscle." This is a heavy charge. Is this simply an assumption or does the author have facts to prove that the case was "subject to the influence of the money and political muscle"? ****** The author writes: "The first step in fixing problems in our judiciary system would be for it to acknowledge that a major fundamental problem exists in the system." Even Supreme Court justices in Nepal have admitted publicly that there is a big corruption problem within the court system. The point is, even after such admissions, nothing happened. My observation: Nepalis don't like corruption when 'corruption' is presented as an abstract moral concept. But they appear to love or tolerate the corrupt amidst them, for the corrupt is likely to be their family members, relatives, neighbours, village folks, and other acquaintances. That is why, no matter how loudly Nepalis shout against corruption, they do nothing against the corrupt. ********* The author writes: "Our judicial system should set up a new independent council within their jurisdiction or revamp the existing one to monitor the probity of the courts and to investigate allegations of corruption and other misconduct by the judges." There exists a disciplinary commitee within the Nepal Bar Association. That committee rarely takes actions against anyone. That's because, in Nepal, a lawyer's friendships with other lawyers are more important to live and wok in Nepal than any other sense of professionalism, and no one wants to rat on their friends only to have them face disciplinary problems. Peer enforcement of professional standards is just not there in Nepal .. . yet. Who wants to make enemies within one's profession by taking actions against the bad guys? Just sharing. oohi ashu
 
Posted on 04-14-16 8:04 PM     [Snapshot: 409]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Where did you learn English? Is this the way to make a petition? Better go to school and learn how to impact. Don't waste others' time.

 
Posted on 04-14-16 8:07 PM     [Snapshot: 411]     Reply [Subscribe]
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See, we do not need word, and even confusing words embedded with adjectives. We need action that you can not say about. sorry. waste your time at virtual reality. Better talk about your food habits or sports.
 
Posted on 04-15-16 1:35 PM     [Snapshot: 464]     Reply [Subscribe]
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साह्रा जंगल सलहले ढाकेको छ : तपाइँ हामी पानि माथि ओबानो बन्न खोज्छौ र न्यायालय चोखो हुनु पर्यो भन्छौ | के न्यायालयमा काम गर्नेलाई डबल तलब दिएकोछ ? कि उनि हरु महामानव हुन र घुस खानु हुँदैन, भन्न खोजेको यी नि हरु पनि मानिसै हुन् ?
I am not supporting their corruptness but trying to bring our bios thought.
 


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