English | Dzongkha Sunday, June 25, 2017

Most Bhutanese still do not understand judicial processes

Changa Dorji, Thimphu
Mar 4, 2017

Many people in the country still do not know and understand about the operation of the court system and judicial processes.

This, according to the Annual Judiciary Report 2016 poses risks of creating confusion and misunderstanding amongst the general public.

The report was released yesterday.

Going by the annual report, people are perhaps more interested in what the courts have done in a substantive sense, rather than finding out how it has come to its decision.

Also, in most places, litigants appear in court representing themselves without the assistance of an attorney.

“They want us to deal the case as per their convenience. Some request kidu. But our duty is to interpret laws correctly and not grant kidu. Some people say there is no clarity of laws and ask for its uniformity. If law has to be uniform then why have different levels of courts. We can keep it all in one court,” said Supreme Court’s Drangpon Rinzin Penjor.

He added lack of professional investigation and prosecution in the court of law is another challenge the judicial system in the country faces today.

“While dealing a criminal case, prosecutors or investigators do not do their job well. I am not blaming them but they do not research well. They directly submit the case reported to the police. Prosecutors are not well trained.”

Apart from shortage of human resources, the report states that judiciary lacks enough budget sanction from the government.

A few of the district courts continue to be either housed in the dzongs and some other temporary structures which hampers effective service delivery.

Many courtrooms also lack the equipment to accommodate people with hearing and speech impairment, or ramps and other mobility features around the court buildings.

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