Essays on Judicial System of Pakistan

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The Judicial System of Pakistan
by Dr Faqir Hussain
Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan

Revised 15th February 2011

The Judicial System of Pakistan

S. No 1 2 General Historical Retrospect 2.1 2.2 2.3 3 4 Hindu Period Muslim Period British Period

Contents

Page No 1 2 2 3 4 6 7 10 13 15 17 17 18 18 19 23 23 24 24 24 28 28 28 28 29 29

Post-Independence Evolution Superior Judiciary 4.1 4.2 4.3 Supreme Court High Courts Federal Shariat Court Subordinate Courts Special Courts and Tribunals 6.1 Service Tribunals

5 6

7 8 9

Procedural Law Terms and Conditions of Service of subordinate Judiciary Organisation and Strength of Judicial Hierarchy 9.1 9.2 9.3 Judges Administrative Staff Administrative Tribunals

10 11

Court Jurisdiction Strength of Law Officers and Lawyers 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Law Officers of Federation and Provinces Advocates, Supreme Court Advocates, High Courts Advocates, Subordinate Courts Law Colleges

The Judicial System of Pakistan

1

The Judicial System of Pakistan
by Dr Faqir Hussain
Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan

1.

General

The roots of the current judicial system of Pakistan stretch back to the medieval period and even before. The judicial system that we practice today has evolved over a long period of time, spanning roughly over a whole millennium. The system has passed through several epochs covering the Hindu era, Muslim period including the Mughal dynasty, British colonial period and post-independence period. Notwithstanding the successive changes i.e. one rule/dynasty substituted by the other, which naturally resulted in the socio-economic and political transformation of the Indian society, the judicial system generally maintained a steady growth and gradual advance towards consolidation and improvement/refinement, without indeed, having to undergo any major disruption or substantial change. All in all, the system experienced and passed through 3 distinct stages of historical development, namely, Hindu Kingdom, Muslim Rule and British Colonial administration. The 4th and current era, commenced with the partition of India and the establishment of Pakistan as a sovereign and independent State. The system, thus, has evolved through a process of reform and development. This conclusion enjoys near unanimity among historians and commentators of Indian legal history. During this process of evolution and growth, the judicial system did receive influences and inspirations from foreign doctrines/notions and indigenous norms/practices, both in terms of organising courts’ structure and hierarchy, and adopting procedures/practices in reaching decisions. Therefore, the present judicial system is not an entirely foreign transplant, as is commonly alleged, but has acquired an indigenous flavour and national colour. And whereas the system may not fully suit the genius of our people or meet the local conditions, its continued application and practice has made it intelligible to the common man. The very fact that increasing number of people are making

The Judicial System of Pakistan

2 resort to the courts for the resolution of their conflicts/disputes, indicates that the system enjoys a degree of legitimacy and acceptance.

The Judicial System of Pakistan

3 2. 2.1 Historical Retrospect Hindu Period

The Hindu period roughly extends from 1500 BC until 1500 AD. Information on the judicial system during Hindu period has been somewhat sketchy, gathered mostly from scattered sources, such as ancient books like Dharamshastra, Smiritis and Arthashastra, and commentaries of the same by historians and jurists. These sources construct a well-defined system of administration of justice during the Hindu period. The King was regarded as the fountain of justice who also discharged judicial functions. In this task, judges as well as his ministers and counsellors assisted him. He was the final judicial authority and court of ultimate appeal. At the Capital,...
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