LAHORE - Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has said that metro, roads and other development projects are important but a common citizen demands justice first.

He expressed these views while addressing a two-day international roundtable conference organised by Punjab Judicial Academy in collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Sunday.

Director Generals of federal and all provincial judicial academies, jurists and legal experts from different countries including Ireland, Turkey, Nepal, South Africa and Greece participated in the conference. Justice Shujaat Ali Khan, Justice Ayesha A Malik, representatives of federal and provincial judicial academies were also present there on the occasion.

The chief justice said provision of speedy justice is important for development of justice sector. He said that all development projects are important but a common citizen needs justice. Unfortunately, he said, around 130,000 cases are lying pending before the LHC and around 1,200,000 cases before the district judiciary. He said it is the need of the hour to provide timely justice to the public, keeping in view the growing population of the country.

The cases are increasing and our judges have no time even to focus on our own system, said the chief justice. The CJ said it is not possible to deliver justice under the old ways. He said there was no time to read more or learn from the new ideas. There was a need of such platform which could provide motivation to our judicial officers and could change their life and fortunately we have such platform in the shape of Punjab Judicial Academy. He said it has a status of second mother for the judicial officers. They are trying to build the academy on modern lines because a strong judicial academy is guarantee for an effective judicial system, he said.

The chief justice said there are six aspects on which they focus at the Punjab Judicial Academy including curriculum of the training courses, use of information technology, monitoring system, capacity building of faculty members, Research and publication.

The chief justice also paid tribute to the mothers of the nation on Mothers’ Day saying that it is result of his mother’s prayers that what he is today. He emphasized over the reason saying that strong ideas based upon the good research. He suggested the judicial officers to do research, reading and then write judgments. He also asked the judicial officers to get benefit of research centre at the Lahore High Court saying that they wanted that their judges should not commit while writing judgments. If change does not come in the working and thinking of the judicial officers or staff even after the training at the academy then there might be any mistake on their part, said the CJ.

He asked foreign dignitaries that they would remain in touch with them so that they could continue this process of learning.

Earlier, Justice Ayesha A Malik of the LHC and foreign guests also spoke on the occasion. At the end, the CJ distributed shields among the participants.