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Research Article Open Access
This article purports to facilitate a discussion on the relevance of informal justice mechanism as an apt component of modern criminal justice system. Based on the observation that the formal criminal justice system in south Asian countries suffers from myriad of problems including failure to uphold fairness and objectivity in investigation, prosecution and adjudication, as well as blatant disregard towards human rights and interests of the victims and the accused alike, in a criminal case, the article proposes that the norms, theories, principles and mechanisms of criminal justice system still plagued by the vestiges of colonial rule could be reinvigorated by integrating some components of informal justice mechanisms within the formal justice system while recognizing others as autonomous and complementary. It elucidates on mechanisms such as community mediation and plea bargaining and reflects on some of the successful institutions such as paralegal committee in Nepal, Lok Adalat in India and Salish Kendra in Bangladesh. The precise conclusion of the article is that modern criminal justice system should look beyond the narrow sphere of vengeance and should be able to hold the state responsible for providing restitution to the victim, to hold the accused socially responsible towards the victim and to assure long-term conflict resolution, to which end informal justice mechanisms such as mediation and plea bargaining must be thoroughly institutionalized in south Asia.
South Asia, Criminal justice system, Informal justice mechanism, Restorative justice, Mediation, Plea bargaining, Corporate Law, Criminal Law,Cyber Law, Law and the Humanities,Social and Cultural Rights, Human Rights Law, Intellectual Property Law, Judicial Activism, Common Law and Equity, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Rights, Conflict of Laws, Justice Studies, Law, International public law,Civil and Political Rights,Legal Rights