KATHMANDU, Feb 21: Japanese Ambassador to Nepal, Masashi Ogawa, on Wednesday signed a grant contract to install three mediation centers - one at the Patan High Court, and one each at Lalitpur District Court and Bhaktapur District Court - for improvement of legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged citizens.
The agreement was signed between the Embassy of Japan and Sher Bahadur KC, President of the Nepal Bar Association (NBA).
The Project for the Establishment of Mediation Centers in the Urban Cities of Nepal is funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) of the Government of Japan. The grant assistance amounts to USD 38,388 (approximately NPR 3.9 million).
The grant will support the establishment of three mediation centers on the premises of the Patan High Court, Lalitpur District Court, and Bhaktapur District Court. The mediation centers provide free mediation services to community people who cannot afford legal services.
Furthermore, these mediation centers will also improve the efficiency of legal assistance to the communities. In the increasingly populated urban cities in Nepal, sometimes people have to wait for several months to receive legal services from the courts. The mediation centers that will be established next to the courts will offer legal consultations by professional lawyers so that simple civil cases can be solved before going to court. In this way, both the courts and citizens can find efficient solutions for issues.
The Nepal Bar Association, established in 1956, has been offering trainings and education related to legal matters, and conducting activities to promote justice and human rights.
The Embassy of Japan hopes that this project will contribute toward enhancing the mediation services to better serve socio-economically disadvantaged people, and also strengthen the bilateral relationship between Japan and Nepal.