'Continuous Hearing': A life line to speed up justice delivery in serious cases
The provision in relation to continuous hearing is one of the fundamental provisions available within the existing law to ensure speedy and effective justice. However, this provisions is often ignored due to lack of clear conceptual understanding among the judges and court officials, lack of shared understanding and coordination among the justice sector actors, procedural complications, and need of reform in other relevant legislations.
To address this, the Judge’s Society organized a training workshop on the effective implementation of continuous hearing provision from 28 February to 1 March 2014 in Dhangadhi, Kailali. The workshop was coordinated by the Supreme Court of Nepal and supported by UNDP’s Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights Protection System in Nepal Programme (RoLHR) project. Justices from the Supreme Court and Appellate Court facilitated the workshop. Altogether 31 district court judges from all the district courts of Far and Mid-western regions attended the workshop.
As outlined in the law, Continuous Hearing allows to continue the hearing process of serious cases without having to wait for another date months away. The ultimate goal of this provision is speedy justice delivery to provide immediate relief to the victims of serious crimes such as rape, violence, and children abuse etc.
The workshop concluded that this provision could be implemented within the existing legal mechanism with the proactiveness of the district judges. However, the workshop also recommended revision of law and procedure, collaborative approach among justice sector actors for effective implementation of this provision.
Need for further training to district judges throughout the country and to other justice sector actors, as well as the need for development of relevant manuals & tutorials, were also highlighted.