By: Neelam Waseem
Law and order are essential components of any civilized society. A country cannot progress or function with the implementation of a proper judicial system. Country like Pakistan is deprived of such an effective and transparent judicial system that can punish the culprit irrespective of his power and authority and save the innocent. Unfortunately, legal system of Pakistan is highly biased and has many flaws that need to be corrected to restore the faith of common man.
The Law of Pakistan
The Law of Pakistan is based on the legal system of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The origin of Pakistani law is based upon the legal system of old British India; incorporating the common law of England and Wales. Amendments in the legal system of Pakistan came during the reign of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, when elements of Islamic Shariah law were incorporated into Pakistani law. This led to the institution of a Federal Shariah Court (FSC). In Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a system of law employing traditional practices is persistent at the local level. At this level, disputes are settled by a Jirga, a council of tribal elders. Ministry of Law and Justice is an advisory service organization providing services to all the offices of Federal and Provincial Governments on legal, judicial and constitutional matters.
The Judicial System of Pakistan
The Judiciary of Pakistan is a hierarchical system with two classes of courts: the superior judiciary and the subordinate judiciary. The superior judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Federal Shariah Court and five High Courts, with the Supreme Court at the apex. There is a High Court for each of the four provinces as well as a High Court for the Islamabad Capital Territory. The Constitution of Pakistan delegate the superior judiciary with the obligation to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. However, neither High court nor Supreme Court can practice jurisdiction to tribal areas except of the special case. The disputed regions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan have separate court systems.
Islam and the Legal System
the legal system of Pakistan is based on English common law and Islamic law. Between 1947 and 1978, Islamic law was largely restricted to the sphere of personal status issues, such as marriage, inheritance and divorce. The Islamisation of the legal system began in earnest under General Zia ul Haq (1977-1988). Through a series of presidential decrees, Zia introduced far reaching changes in Pakistan’s criminal justice system, regulated by the Pakistan Penal Code of 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure (1898). He also created a parallel court system, consisting of Shariat courts, and amended the country’s anti-blasphemy laws. While most of the “Islamic” laws he instituted are still on the statute, and some were reinforced by conservative governments, Pakistan’s parliament has recently introduced legal changes aimed at improving the status of women in the private and public spheres.
The judiciary of Pakistan is a hierarchical system with two classes of courts: the superior (or higher) judiciary and the subordinate (or lower) judiciary. The superior judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Federal Shariat Court and five High Courts, with the Supreme Court at the apex. There is a High Court for each of the four provinces as well as a High Court for the Islamabad Capital Territory. The Constitution of Pakistan entrusts the superior judiciary with the obligation to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. Neither the Supreme Court nor a High Court may exercise jurisdiction in relation to Tribal Areas, except otherwise provided for. The disputed regions of Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan have separate court systems.
Published in The Balochistan Point on April 1, 2018
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