KUALA LUMPUR: The number of cases being resolved through "alternative dispute resolution", especially via mediation in Malaysia, has been rising steadily since the introduction of the Practice Direction on Mediation in 2010, said former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi (pix). He added that the growth of mediation could be attributed to the legal systems of many countries, including Malaysia, which were seeking for a cheaper and quicker alternative to litigation, thus reducing the backlog of cases and legal costs. He said during his time as Chief Justice of Malaysia, he initiated a nationwide stock taking exercise to determine the number of cases pending in the Malaysian courts. "Having found the astonishing number of cases pending, we (the judiciary) explored new approaches to dispose of the cases more expeditiously. Mediation clearly being one of those approaches," he told the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) mediation forum here today. Having first issued the Practice Direction on Mediation in 2010, Zaki expressed his appreciation to his successor, Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, for directing the judiciary in July to order parties to settle their disputes by way of mediation at the pre-trial stage or at any stage, whether prior to, or even after a trial has commenced. He said this success could not be achieved overnight nor could it be done in isolation. He said KLRCA registered 1,290 cases between 2010 and 2016, showing a marked increase from past years.