Judges’ Selection: A very brief Note

In Pakistan, job requirements for a Civil Judge and for the Chief Justice of Pakistan are almost the same; a person with simple Bachelor of law can be a Civil Judge or a Chief Justice of Pakistan (apart from age & experience factors).

Ironically, first, the Chief Justice of High Court nominates what we ideally term as “competent and deserving individuals”, second, those selected competent individuals are brought before a commission which is Chaired by the same Chief Justice, third, after the Commission’s approval those deserving individuals become the Judges of High Court.

(It should be cleared and clarified that the Parliamentary Committee for the Appointment of Judges is mere a rubber stamp as it has been held  in the case Munir Bhatti versus  Federation of Pakistan reported as PLD 2011 Supreme Court page 407 that recommendation of the commission are binding upon the committee. For your further information, in every case where the said committee attempted to overturn the decision of the commission, the said attempt was nullified by the courts. For this one may also consult 2015 LHC 4524.)

A very interesting point to be noted is that generally the most senor judges of high court are selected as the Justices’ of Supreme Court. And the most senior judge of the Supreme Court becomes the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

There are some serious questions to be raised here:
All-wise and all-power the worthy Chief Justice of High Court nominates people even without consulting with his colleagues, why? Does such system or process of selection in 21st century not seem ridiculous and unfair? The Chief Justice of High Court like the Chief Justice of Supreme Court is the most powerful person in administrative matters. So will the judges, who fortunately or unfortunately, become the part of commission reject or disagree with what the Mohtaram Chief Justice say or do? If there is an educated, competent and well-known lawyer but the chief justice shb just does not like him, will he be nominated by the chief justice? Any assurance? Can anybody question what the chief justice and commission say or do?

Don’t you think there must be system where all these posts should be filled after a competitive examination like in the US?


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Lahore Times.

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