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