The Need of Informal Justice System in Pakistan


  • Sohail Ahmed Mashori Senior Civil Judge & Assistant Sessions Judge; presently serving as the Nazir, High Court of Sindh at Karachi.


Sharia law, Jirga, Nyaya Panchayat, Biradari, Alternative Dispute Resolution


In Pakistan, the informal justice system, such as Jirga, Panchayat and Faislo, is often discarded in favour of the formal justice system, and even though the informal justice system is heavily criticized but it is subject to being reformed and implemented in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan as well as the international human rights standards. The implementation of the informal justice system can offer many advantages such as easy access to the justice, lessening the burden of the already overburdened courts, and revival of people’s trust on the system. The informal justice system has historical roots in the society of Pakistan, and by involving community through participatory decision making can make it acceptable to all the stakeholders in the society. The present article will also consider the model of India with respect to the implementation of the informal justice system by establishing Nyaya Panchayat or Panchayat courts, and providing it with constitutional cover. It also attempts to address the criticism offered against the implementation of the informal justice system, and discusses its adherence and acceptance by the United Nations if it does not violate human rights, and provides an easy alternative to the formal justice system, especially in case of lack of capacity or geographical reach.