Pema Needup 2018-10-17T04:50:20+00:00

PEMA NEEDUP

Senior Fellow – Bhutan

Pema Needup has served as the Chief Judge of the Punakha District Court since 2014.  He previously served as the Presiding Judge of the Wamrong Drungkhag (Sub-District) Court, the Pemagatshel District Court, and the Trashigang District Court.

About Pema Needup

Pema Needup has served as the Chief Judge of the Punakha District Court since 2014.  He previously served as the Presiding Judge of the Wamrong Drungkhag (Sub-District) Court, the Pemagatshel District Court, and the Trashigang District Court. He has over twenty-two years of experience as a judicial officer.

Judge Needup is committed to developing the practice of mediation in Bhutan and has played a key role in the promotion and establishment of court-referred mediation since 2010.

He is an experienced mediation trainer and educator and has trained over 300 community leaders on mediation skills and techniques in his private and official capacity since 2012. Judge Needup is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of their rights and responsibilities relating to the use of the mediation process in the community. He further educates students and youth on youth-related problems, values and laws, including penal provisions.

Litigation Practice

Judge Needup has extensive experience adjudicating a wide variety of cases, including: criminalcivilfamilyprobate, commercial, property, insurance claims, inheritance, administrative, labor, monetary, small claims and environmental cases.

Mediation Practice

While on the bench, Judge Needup does not directly mediate cases in Bhutan, but he is permitted to influence and encourage litigants to opt for mediation. After a case is registered in the court of law, during the preliminary hearing, presiding judges are required to provide an opportunity for parties to resolve their case through mediation.

ADR Achievements and Training

In his private and official capacity, Judge Needup provides training to mediators (primarily community leaders) so that they can develop their mediation skills and advance their understanding of modern mediation techniques, while still preserving Bhutan’s mediation traditions.

  • Since 2012, Judge Needup has trained more than three hundred mediators in Bhutan. He recently trained 34 mediators, who were Paralegal Service Providers.
  • Awarded a Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship (2011)
  • Visiting Scholar, Gould Center for Conflict Resolution, Stanford Law School (2011) (Negotiation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Dispute System Design and Mediation)
  • Has undergone a Training of Trainers on ADR and Mediation in Bhutan, organized by the Judiciary of Bhutan, in cooperation with the Mediation Centre of Denmark (2011)
  • Attended basic mediation training at Community Boards in San Francisco and at the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) in San Mateo (2011)
  • Participated in court-annexed ADR training at the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo and at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California by shadowing the judges (2011)

ADR Teaching and Mentoring

  • Educates the public about the beneficial use of mediation in the community
  • Has introduced Peer Mediation in the schools, while serving as the presiding judge at the Trashigang District Court
  • Provides education and resources to students regarding youth-related issues and penal provisions
  • Donates library books to schools to enhance a culture of reading

Publications and Education

Publications

  • Prepared a mediation training manual
  • Co-authored the article, Research Guide to the Legal System of the Kingdom of Bhutan in the GlobaLex of New York University
  • Has written mediation articles in newspapers, law journals and other publications

Educational Qualifications

  • Master of Laws (LL.M) in Constitutional Law from National Academy for Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law, Hyderabad, India (2007)
  • Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India (2001)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in National Legal System (PGCNLS) from the Royal Institute of Management (RIM), Thimphu in Bhutan (1997)
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A. Honours in English Literature) from Sherubtse College, Kanglung in Bhutan (1996)

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