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Causes for Delay in Civil Justice in Lower Courts of Pakistan: A Review

Raza Ullah Shah, Shadi Ullah Khan & Sumera Farid

Delay in civil justice is a chronic and ubiquitous problem; the situation is particularly
alarming in developing countries like Pakistan. The backlog of civil cases is piling up every
month, especially in the lower courts of the country. Different commissions have
periodically been appointed to investigate into the reasons for this delay. Current work
reviews this phenomenon in the light of studies conducted so far nationally and globally.
Delay is a product of different factors interlinked in a complex manner. Ideally judges,
lawyers and administrative staff should work in collaboration to achieve the single goal of
dispensation of justice at reasonable speed. However lawyers in a bid to earn more money
would always seek adjournments to increase their number of appearance in court. Judges on
the other hand are overburdened and would grant adjournments to manage their workload.
There are technical intricacies in the procedure & corruption in the administrative & clerical
staff is wide spread. These and other factor related to the role of judges, lawyers, fallacious
procedures and insufficient budget are taken up in this review in detail.

Keywords: Civil Justice, Court System, Pakistan, Delay