Inadequacies remain in judiciary: RAA

Making a conclusion on the judiciary system and practices in the country from 2012 to 2016, the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) concluded in their review report that inadequacies continue in the legal and institutional framework, human resources, operational areas and case management besides other areas.

The RAA carried out the review to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the Judiciary in delivering fair, just and equitable justices. The review report was made available to the public on March 2.

Based on the findings, the RAA provided 17 recommendations aimed at enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of judicial services of rendering timely delivery of fair, just and equitable justice.

The recommendations included review and implementation of provisions of the judicial service act not yet implemented also appointing Drangpon Rabjams from persons having served as an advocate.

Other recommendations included establishment of proper legal framework for instituting Notary Public Offices in the country, declaration of conflict of interest to be made mandatory, implementation of internal evaluation system and keeping track record of lower courts.

Reviewing laws from time to time and submission to parliament to ensure that they are in keeping with the changing situation, proposing amendments and modifications thereto as and when necessary, considering establishing a National Standard for court proceedings, rationalizing appeal system to render it more efficient and implementing case hearings calendar in the courts along with avoiding re-registration of decided cases were among the recommendations.

Recommendations include instituting a proper system for enforcement of judgments, considering capturing information of other stakeholders in the CMS, ensuring accurate and comprehensive case information, enhancing accessibility of judgments to public, prescribing procedures for availing legal aid services, instituting a system to monitor, evaluate and report on the inconsistencies in Judgments; and considering possibilities of conducting periodic peer review of its system and practices.

Despites the judiciary’s progressive reforms and improvements, RAA identified many areas where considerable scope for further improvement exists. Inadequacies persist in legal and institutional framework, human resources, operational areas and case management besides other areas.

“Currently, annual reports and official website are only mediums to communicate the events and achievements of judiciary to public. However, information presented is not open for public examination and scrutiny. Specific legal stipulations on the accountability of judiciary may be necessary to render the judiciary accountable for its decisions and actions and promote public confidence on the role of judiciary,” RAA review report highlighted.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu