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Rule of law vital to civilize society: CJP

Rule of law vital to civilize society: CJP

LAHORE, (SANA): Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan is passing through difficult times due to poor law and order situation, adding that the protection of life and property of citizens is the responsibility of state.

Addressing to the lawyers on the occasion of 27th roll signing ceremony at Lahore on Saturday the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that “thousands of families have been affected by terrorism. Thousands lost their lives due to extrajudicial killings.”

The Chief Justice said administration needed to do perform its job in order to eliminate the terrorism. “It is the need of hour that judiciary, administration and executives should work together,” he emphasized.

Justice Chaudhry said the rule of law plays a key role in civilizing a society. “The Supreme Court of Pakistan is custodian of the Constitution.” Judicial system is the most powerful pillar of the state, he said, adding that it has full backing of people and institutions.

Chief Justice said that the learned advocates of the Supreme Court are the representatives of the highest legal institution at national level and carry with them the foremost responsibility of securing justice to the downtrodden and vulnerable classes of society and sensitizing State institutions towards contemporary social issues.

I am hopeful that like yester years the lawyers community will continue to act as a bulwark against the constitutional excesses by any authority or institution, CJ said.

Chief Justice Chaudhry maintained that to secure democratic governance and rule of law, every institution in Pakistan has to recognize and respect constitutional norms. The rule of law, no doubt, is a decisive factor for transforming a barbaric society to a civilized one. Our society is passing through hard times due to prevalent law and order situation in various areas of Pakistan.

CJ Chaudhry said the rampant culture of terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and extra-judicial killings has taken thousands of lives and affected millions of families, adding that it is the need of the hour that all the three main organs of the State i.e. the judiciary, executive and the legislature should work in collaboration and cooperation with one another to secure basic human rights to the people of Pakistan.

The executive and the legislature need to play their role in formulating and implementing laws for curbing extremism, sectarianism, terrorism, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings CJ said adding that the judiciary has always tried to deliver its best while adjudicating in accordance with the existing laws and given procedure.

He said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan is the custodian of the Constitution and as such has the constitutional power of judicial review and it has been granted original jurisdiction in the enforcement of Fundamental Rights under Articles 184(3). In the constitutional history of Pakistan the Supreme Court has exercised the power of judicial review at various times to check the constitutionality of State actions. To do so, the judiciary has to be vigilant and play an active role, he added.

He said the independence of judiciary is a sine qua non for the promotion of rule of law which is a basic substance of democracy and necessitates the supremacy of constitution, equality before law and equal protection of law. It is the statutory and constitutional responsibility of judiciary to safeguard the constitutional principles which provide for an effective enforcement of fundamental rights and clean and efficient system of governance, he added.

CJ Chaudhry said Judiciary has a definite role to play for effective administration of justice to decide disputes and give relief against, unjust or arbitrary action, adding that the lawyers’ community has played a key role along with the civil society in securing judicial independence in post November 3rd 2007 scenario.

CJ stated that after restoration, the judiciary with the support of the Bar has left no stone unturned to maintain its independence and prestige by responding promptly and rendering justice fairly and I feel privileged that the Pakistani judicial system is the strongest pillar of State which enjoys full confidence and faith of other institutions as well as public at large. This privilege equally shared by the lawyers community on account of their struggle and commitment to the cause, he said.

CJ Chaudhry said that the judges, lawyers and prosecutors are supposed to adhere to highest norms of integrity and professionalism in order to maintain the prestige and honour of judicial system. As compared to judges, the lawyers and prosecutors have the liberty to work freely and without fear of reprisals. They may become strong defenders of human rights and fundamental freedoms at all times.

CJ said that lawyers who adhere to rules of ethics and have good expression, analytical approach, research oriented perception and propriety of professional activities, earn great respect from Bar as well as Bench.

The principles of legal ethics as envisaged by the Bar Councils’ Acts and Rules are in fact the principles of reason defining the proper conduct for legal fraternity, he said adding that lawyers being highly educated class of professionals are required to exhibit and adopt exemplary behavior with the judges, co-lawyers, prosecutors, officials and clients. It brings a good name to the profession and it enhances the prestige of the institution.

Chief Justice Chaudhry said that the lawyers need to demonstrate an image of role model for others. By dent of their knowledge and persuasive arguments, they can mold the public opinion.

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