Comparative Law

Topics: Law, Common law, Sharia Pages: 6 (1964 words) Published: January 15, 2012
Question 1: Selected Jurisdiction-Pakistan
The common law forms a major part of the legal system of many countries, especially those which had been British territories or colonies. It is notable for its inclusion of extensive non-statutory law, reflecting a consensus of centuries of judgments by working jurists. [1] The legal system of Pakistan is based on English common law and Islamic law. The former is more influential in commercial law while the latter is more influential in personal status (and, more recently, criminal and tax law to some extent). There is a fine distinction between Civil Law and Common Law; however the same are used interchangeably in Pakistan and most countries of the World. Pakistan was a colony of the British Empire pre partition therefore, Common law systems were inherited by Pakistan which places greater weight on court decisions, as opposed to civil law where judicial precedent is given less weight (which means that a judge deciding a given case has more freedom to interpret the text of a statute independently, and less predictably), and scholarly literature is given more.  Pakistan law system has adversarial court procedure and follows other common law practices such as judicial precedent and the concept of stare decisis. Differences

Pakistan differs from the classic common law in many ways. Firstly both the criminal and civil laws are almost completely codified, a legacy from the days of the British Raj, when English laws were extended to India by ways of statute. Jury trials have been phased out in Pakistan since independence, because of judicial and public dissatisfaction with their operation; one Pakistani judge called jury trials as "amateur justice". In constitutional law matters Pakistani jurisprudence has been greatly influenced by the United States legal system, Pakistan has adopted a US-style Federal Structure. Islamic law and traditional Jirga-based law has also influenced the country's judicial development. Pakistan's legal system

Pakistan's judicial system stems directly from the system that was used in British India. The Supreme Court has original, appellate, and advisory jurisdictions. The president of Pakistan appoints the justices. Each province has a high court, the judges of which are also named by the president. Below the high courts are district and session courts, and below these are subordinate courts and village courts on the civil side and magistrates on the criminal side. There are no jury trials in Pakistan. [2] The British tradition of an independent judiciary has been undermined in Pakistan by developments over the last 50 years. In May 1991, for example, the National Assembly adopted legislation which incorporated the Islamic legal code, the Sharia into Pakistan's legal system. Courts in Pakistan are also subject to pressure from the executive branch, in part because of presidential power over transfer and tenure of high court justices and lower court judges. Judges in the special courts are retired jurists hired on renewable contracts so that their decisions may be influenced by a desire for contract renewal. Nonetheless, the provincial high courts and the Supreme Court have exercised some degree of independence in handing down a number of cases against the government. In 1996 the Supreme Court issued orders curtailing the powers of the executive to appoint and transfer high courts' judges. [2]

Court System:
The judiciary is composed of three levels of federal courts, three divisions of lower courts, and a Supreme Judicial Council. There are district courts in every district of each province, having both civil and criminal jurisdiction though they deal mainly with civil matters. The Supreme Court is the apex Court of the land, exercising original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. [3]The High Court of each province has jurisdiction over civil and criminal appeals from lower courts within the provinces. The Supreme Court sits in...
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