Assessing the Efficiency of the District Courts of Pakistan—Why is Better Evaluation Needed?

  • Muhammad Saeed


In this article, the case is made for the need for appraisal of performance of the district courts of Pakistan from an efficiency perspective and a framework of practical tools are suggested to secure that end. It is argued that an effective appraisal system using empirical research is desirable in view of an absence of judicial accountability by democratic institutions and gaps in the internal official appraisal practice and in methods for locating the impact of the justice reform initiatives. The assessment can be done by analysing the relevant statistical data, qualitative feedback of the litigants and by comparing Pakistan’s judicial performance with countries with similar conditions. Empirical evidence available so far suggests that the court service in Pakistan is plagued with delay, vexatious litigation and abuse of court process causing suffering for the end-users. Hence, for any future reform effort to eradicate these maladies, institutionalized empirically based scrutiny of judicial performance is indispensable.


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