Established in 1982 A.D. The Nepal Law Society(NLS) is an independent non-governmental organization committed to the rule of law, human rights, women empowerment, local goverance and decentralization.

Independence of Judiciary/ Rule of Law

One of the key objectives of the Society is to promote the independence of judiciary and ensure the rule of law. It has undertaken various initiatives to achieve these goals.

Policy Dialogue

The Society has been facilitating the policy dialogue among the Supreme Court, Appellate Court and District Court judges on regular basis. This effort is aimed at identifying the prevailing problems in the justice-dispensation. The Society also regularly keeps in touch with the Chief Justice and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to discuss these issues.

Based on the feedbacks received from those dialogues, the Society conducts constant review of laws of Supreme Court, Appellate Court and District Court. Likewise, the dialogues are also intended to enhance the public faith in judiciary, among others.

Capacity Development

The Society adopted the system of making the senior Supreme Court judges train the junior ones. Such trainings were held in the valley as well as in various regions. Almost all the judges received such training. The objective of this training was to polish and refine the capacity of the judges and to orient them towards modern concepts like commercial, cyber and constitutional laws and so on.

The Society has also worked towards systematizing the precedent system. Precedents established by the Supreme Court have been communicated to the Appellate and District Courts, which have been oriented towards the precedent-based decision-making methodology.

The Society has also actively facilitated in the smoothening of relations between the Bar and the Bench by encouraging frequent contacts and interactions between the two.

With the objective of building the capacity of lawyers, the Society actively lobbied for the revocation of the existing provision that allowed even the certificate level students to work as lawyers. It was found that this provision bred corruption among the lawyers. Subsequently, the provision was revoked and, as per the Society’s recommendations, the lawyers now need to be graduates before they can plead in the courts. This was also aimed at enhancing the public faith in the profession of legal practitioners.

The Society held training to lawyers on specialized subjects like taxation, WTO, human rights, labour laws, banking laws, commerce and constitutional development. Such programs intended to instill the sense of specialization among the lawyers.

System Development

Concerned by the apparent lack of public confidence and faith in the independence of judiciary, the Society has worked towards re-thinking the existing judicial-legal system. It is not only important to deliver justice but it is also equally important to guarantee that the people actually feel that the justice has been delivered.

At present, the judiciary has often attracted criticisms for not delivering the justice on time. Justice delayed, as they say, is justice denied. The time factor is crucial in maintaining healthy judiciary. Apart from ways to bring down the time taken to deliver justice, the Society has been actively working to prepare guidelines to bring down the cost involved in seeking and getting justice.

Judicial Structure

In partnership with the Supreme Court and The Asia Foundation, the NLS had worked in policy support to review and update the laws and by laws of judiciary. This program is aimed at both updating the current laws and preparing the judiciary for the future restructuring based on the new constitution to be promulgated by the Constituent Assembly. This program also collected feedback from all the legal officials across the country regarding the prospects of restructuring judiciary in the future federal set up.