At the two day online workshop on improving access to justice which began on Tuesday, Senior Pusine Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Mushir Alam said Pakistan is currently at a rudimentary stage vis-à-vis informal settlement of disputes but expressed the confidence that the greater cooperation from the EU would pave the way for establishing a viable organizational platform and a meaningful legal framework supported by advanced technologies. Justice Mushir Alam said collaborative efforts would give us the required impetus and motivation in establishing an effective dispute resolution platform in Pakistan. Justice Mushir Alam expressed the hope that the EU would organize more activities again in the future, especially focusing upon the use of advancing technology in online dispute settlement to bring efficiency and transparency in the process. In her opening remarks, the Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara said the webinar is a first step to further strengthening the ties between European and Pakistani judiciaries. Pakistan and the EU agreed in their joint Strategic Engagement Plan to use institutional contacts to strengthen cooperation and exchange expertise on the functioning of civilian democratic bodies and safeguarding fundamental human rights. The event organized under the aegis of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) and the European Union will allow for an unprecedented exchange of practices and experiences between European and Pakistani judicial experts on informal dispute settlement systems, mediation and free legal aid to improve access to justice for all Pakistani citizens. This is particularly important as improving access to justice is a priority area for the European Union and also in the context of Pakistan’s recently passed legal aid bill – the Legal Aid and Justice Authority Act 2020. During the workshop, four judges from Germany, Italy and Sweden will present the judicial systems in their respective countries and discuss their experiences and expertise with 80 high-level participants from the Pakistani judiciary. The two-day workshop will focus on ways to reduce the backlog of cases pending at courts, extrajudicial settlement of disputes, mediation and arbitration in commercial and family law and ways to develop them further through reform of legal framework and court processes. There will also be a discussion on recent trends in digitalization, the use of advancing technologies, data exchange and data management. The European judges will present European systems of free legal aid, with a view to determining which practices could be integrated into the Pakistani legal and judicial system to make it more effective, responsive, accessible, transparent and efficient. There may be future cooperation between the LJCP and the EU’s TAIEX Programme to narrow down topics and deepen the exchange between stakeholders from the Pakistani justice sector and EU legal experts. TAIEX is a programme of the European Union that mobilises technical support in EU Member States in response to requests for knowledge sharing and exchange from public institutions in partner countries. This is the first event in Pakistan, aiming at establishing institutional partnerships between European and Pakistani judiciaries.