Mediation centre opened in Kavre

Kavre, December 20:

A mediation centre, supported by the US Agency for International Development, was launched at the Kavrepalanchowk District Court in Dhulikhel.

As an important component of the Strengthen Rule of Law programme of USAID, mediation centres are lauched with an objective of reducing the burden on the formal justice system.

Rana Bahadur Bam, Chief Judge of the Patan Appellate Court on Thursday inaugurated the centre and emphasised the need for such mediation centres.

“Courts all across Nepal have over 54,000 pending cases with 13,000 pending in the Supreme Court alone. On average, 50,000 new cases are registered annually.

Many of these can and should be resolved through mediation. We expect the mediation centres to bring down the number of pending cases in the formal justice-system and expedite the delivery of justice,” said Beth S Paige, Mission Director of USAID-Nepal.

USAID-Nepal’s support for the mediation programme includes development of a standardised mediation curriculum and training manual, training on mediation practices and public education campaigns on the benefits of court-referred mediation.

USAID is now supporting three mediation centres under the Rule of Law programme. The first two centres were launched in the Lalitpur District Court and Dolakha District Court earlier this year.

Kavrepalanchowk District Court Mediation Centre is the third mediation centre while a fourth one is also on the agenda.

USAID-Nepal had previously funded the establishment of three mediation centres through the same programme.

USAID-Nepal’s two-year programme to strengthen the rule of law is being implemented by the Asia Foundation and its local NGO partners.

The goal of the programme is to build the institutional capacity of the judiciary, promote alternative dispute resolution, and increase access to justice to help consolidate peace process and improve democratic governance in Nepal.