Village Courts to scale up to ensure justice for all

June 15, 2022

Bangladesh government has taken necessary steps to implement the third phase of Activating Village Courts across the country to make sure justice is more accessible, fair, and affordable for the poor, women and vulnerable groups, Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister, Md Tajul Islam said today.

The minister came up with the remarks while attending the National Workshop on the Impact of  Village Court Project and Way Forward.

He further said, “Government is committed to ensure the people's right of getting justice and curb the backlog of cases in the district courts by activating village courts.  It takes the justice service to the rural people in the quickest possible time.” The government is also working to amend the Village Court Act, 2006 to make it more effective and people-friendly, the Minister said. He thanked the EU and UNDP for their support.

Speaking as a special guest, Mr. Charles Whiteley, the EU Ambassador to Bangladesh said, “Village Court system has been proven as an effective system to resolve petty disputes at minimal cost with no legal and administrative complications. The EU has been closely engaged with the government of  Bangladesh and has committed further to finance 25 million euros for functionalizing the village court services through Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh for its final Phase to scale up the services all over the country so that no one is left behind.

Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh said, “By implementing the Activating Village Courts project, Bangladesh has made an investment that is benefitting the people of the rural communities, particularly women and helping the country in achieving SDGs. The future scale-up of Village Court services through the upcoming phase of the project will ensure the accessibility of justice for the people who are left behind, across Bangladesh. Resolution through justice systems can only be ensured when the grievances of the rural people are recognized.” He thanked the EU for their generous support.

Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh Phase II Project facilitates local authorities in making village courts functional at 1,080 unions with financial support and a tri-partnership with the EU, UNDP and the Government of Bangladesh. In phase II, 2,36,868 cases have been reported of which 30% were by women. Almost 2,00,000 cases are resolved, benefitting 4,73,736 people.

Among others, Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Secretary, of the Local Government Division also spoke.