[JURIST] Nepal's Maoist communist party announced Monday it is suspending its "People's Courts" that have been running in urban areas of Nepal, including the capital Kathmandu. Maoist supreme commander Prachanda [eKantipur interview] announced the suspension in a statement amidst national and international criticism of the panels that have run parallel to the government's regular courts, are not recognized by the state, and lack competent authority to pass verdicts.
It is not known how many such courts are in operation in Nepal. Their activity - officially undisclosed prior to this time - has, however, led to a decrease in cases at the regular courts of Nepal and has cost lawyers jobs [eKantipur report].
Kiran Chapagain is a special correspondent for JURIST writing from Nepal. He is an Assistant Senior Reporter for the Kathmandu Post.