The introduction of the Model Criminal Trial Courts in several districts has proved to be a very fruitful exercise. A plan which started as establishing model courts using the same legal framework has now expanded to several districts. Cases have been divided into three categories and judges are allotted accordingly. They have improved service delivery of the criminal justice system by introducing time-bound criminal trial regimen; reduction in the shelf life of criminal cases through efficient trial management; fixation of timeframe for the conduct of the criminal trial by introducing trial scheduling and made trial management a coordinated effort by key players.

The reforms in the legal system of the country have been long debated due to great backlog of cases which is preventing the smooth functioning of the judicial system. This backlog has increasingly pushed the masses to move towards alternative means of justice which are speedy, if not efficient. Chief Justice of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khosa, came in with the promise of resolving this issue and introducing reforms which will be able to garner a change in the society as significant as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The initial data shows a stark difference in the management of normal courts over the management of model courts. It showed that a total number of 8 model courts decided 1,458 cases and recorded statements of 6,488 witnesses in only 167 working days. In comparison, 40 normal courts in Punjab decided a total number of 5,402 cases and recorded the statements of 26,695 witnesses. The judges appointed for these courts ensure a speedy trial and also prefer to take a case per day and move towards resolution. Due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders in the process, it has become quite efficient to tackle a case a day.

The courts were first only functional in Attock, Chiniot, Narowal, and Vehari. Now they have expanded to Mandi Bahauddin and Lodharan. The plan is to test the progress and growth of this pilot project after the first six months. If there is a significant difference in the output, then the project will be expanded to the rest of the country as well. The Research Wing of the Federal Judicial Academy will conduct its impact study on the criminal justice system. This will also increase our understanding of the changing legal system and the need for innovation for speedy justice.