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CJP constitutes Arbitration Law Review Committee

By APP
June 02, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Taking cognizance of the gaps in the existing legal framework on arbitration being domestic in nature, absence of arbitration-friendly rules and time-consuming procedures, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial has constituted the Arbitration Law Review Committee.

This project is an initiative of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan. The committee is mandated to analyze the existing legislation on the arbitration in Pakistan and recommend suitable measures, including the holistic legislation aligned with International and regional best practices on arbitration, an SC news release said on Thursday.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan, who is Chairman of the Arbitration Law Review Committee, convened its first meeting on Thursday in the Supreme Court.

Muhammad Makhdoom Ali Khan, Senior Advocate Supreme Court, Feisal Hussain Naqvi, Advocate Supreme Court, Ms Riffat Inam Butt, Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, Muhammad Khashih-ur-Rehman, AS/EDGII, Board of Investment, Islamabad, and Ms Ambreen Abbasi, Senior Legislative Adviser, Ministry of Law and Justice, being members participated in the meeting. The committee examined the gaps in the prevailing legal framework and considering the international best practices and regional experiences, expressed the need to update and modernize the existing legislation with the contemporary international legal framework on arbitration and mediation.

The committee resolved to go with the specific timelines to meet its mandate and for that adopt a holistic approach for drafting new legislation, which would cater for the domestic and international arbitrational requirements. The new legislation would also be shared with the stakeholders, including government and private sector, as well as academia and legal fraternity.

It emphasized training of judges, legal practitioners, subject experts and members of the chambers of the commerce, etc.

The committee also considered that a comprehensive awareness strategy on arbitration and mediation be evolved for the public and for that the Judicial Academy would be engaged to devise training programs as per the international standards in consultation with prominent local and international arbitration experts. To encourage foreign investment and inspire the confidence of corporate and commercial sector, the committee also recommended the establishment of an arbitral center with ownership of the state for providing services to the parties for amicable settlements of their disputes.

The initiative, it observed, would enhance the investor confidence and generate a conducive environment for economic activity in Pakistan. Additionally, it would also help the general public to resolve their disputes swiftly, which would eventually reduce the case load on courts. The meeting concluded with the resolve to complete the project by the end of the year.