Village courts or informal courts are becoming widely popular as it pursues quick disposal of complaints through local level arbitration without delaying or involving huge expenditures. Already introduced in 1080 unions of Bangladesh, the informal courts are playing significant roles in ensuring justice to people most of who are poor and have little knowledge on legal matters.
The popularity is quite well evidence in the figures represented here – since 2012 a total of 79568 cases were reported pending while 61,450 cases of them were disposed of through arbitration in the village courts across the country. Referring to the village courts, the LGRD Minister Muhammad Tajul Islam told this correspondent, “The system of village courts undoubtedly has already benefitted many people.”
The village court is one of them that can improve lives and ensure peace and harmony in the rural areas, the Minister added. After successful implementation of (phase –I) from 2006-2015, Phase-II of the Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh (AVCB) project started in 1,080 unions, under a tri-partnership with EU, UNDP and the Government.
European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh Renjse Teerink gave emphasis to the importance of village courts for the marginalized groups of people in the rural Bangladesh. That to ensure the access to justice in quick and affordable manner. “EU is always committed to strengthen social justice in Bangladesh so that, the vulnerable community especially rural poor women, can seek justice,” Teerink added.
Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangladesh, said, “Without development there is no peace and without peace there is no justice.”
Sources of LGRD and UNDP office stated that, the village courts would also empower local people, especially women and vulnerable people.