How to become a barrister

Pursuing a career as a barrister is a route not to be taken lightly.  The profession is extremely charming, however the road to becoming a successful barrister is extremely competitive and challenging. Only the highest caliber graduates make it to the profession or stand a chance to success. Note that advocacy is a key element of being a barrister; therefore you must possess extra ordinary speaking talent and must have the ability to express yourself in simple clear words and aptly. It is your job to convince jury or judge as the case may be depending on which jurisdiction you intend to practice. You must be persuasive and strong willed as the slightest appearance of nerves or a fault in your dialogue could lose the case and the freedom of your client, particularly in a criminal case. Although it may be true that justice demands that it ought not to be dependent on performance of a lawyer and the facts and evidence must be important in determining the outcome of the case, however, the system of law that we have in England or Pakistan or other common law jurisdictions, role of a lawyer is imperative. A barrister, who is eloquent and well prepared and puts the case of his client as smartly as he can, often wins. This may be a shortcoming of the system that often injustice can prevail when a superior lawyer is representing a culprit, but that unfortunately is how the system works.

For a barrister, a large part of his job will involve public speaking. So as a barrister you must possess excellent interpersonal skills. You must also be able to improvise, as the twists and turns of the court will always bring up subjects that you may not have prepared for. An ability to deal with stress is vital as late nights are common and the pressure of court appearances high.

Moreover, as most barristers operate independently, you must be prepared to endure the possibility of financial hardship at the start of your career, with delayed earnings a common occurrence. You must also have a very competitive nature as places are few and far between. Only around a third of students undergoing the vocational stage of training (BPTC) will get a pupillage (a kind of legal apprenticeship) and, even after that, there are fewer tenancies in chambers than there are people on pupillages.

To become a barrister in Pakistan, you must complete you’re O and A Levels after which you must pursue your undergraduate degree in either London University affiliated Pakistan colleges or go abroad and do you undergraduate. Depends on the type of budget you have for your education. It is cheaper to study in Pakistan as compared to UK. 

After completing your undergraduate education in Pakistan or aboroad,, you must then apply to one of the few colleges that do a Bar Vocational Training Course. Once you sign up for this course, you are required to undertake Bar Membership from one of the four Inns. The most notable or famous Inn for Pakistani students is The Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn because of Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was its member and a barrister. 

Common law and Civil law Jurisdiction Pakistan

Civil law and Common Law are terms used interchangeably in Pakistan, however, both legal concepts are diverse and relate to different methods of legal interpretation. Civil Law is referred to as a system of interpretation where judicial precedents are given lesser weight as opposed to a judge’s interpretation of the statute in light of scholarly literature which is afforded greater preference. Common law is a system of laws where judges in light of earlier precedents or cases decide the matter at hand. They apply to analogy or principle derived from earlier decided cases with similar legal or factual scenarios. This affords much greater certainty to legal decisions. For instance, a litigant can to some extent predict outcome of his case particularly when a court higher in the hierarchy has decided a similar case. The lower courts are often bound by decisions of the higher courts. This is referred to as the concept of binding precedents.

 

As a general rule of thumb, common law systems trace their history to England, while civil law systems trace their history to Roman law and the Napoleonic Code.

Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals (also called case law), rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action. Common law of England evolved from the rules and practices of the community, which are gradually formalized by decisions made by judges. The term ‘common law’ distinguished it from local laws, the canon laws of the Roman Catholic Church (which until the Reformation in the sixteenth century, was the established church in England), and the ‘law merchant’ practiced in mercantile courts.

In the Anglo Saxon period (roughly the fifth to the eleventh century) the principles applied in the courts were based on the customs of the local community as declared by the freemen of those communities, who acted as judges. After the Norman Conquest of 1066, the Kings judges gradually established a body of general principles based on the many local customs. These principles were applied uniformly during the judges’ periodic circuits through the country and later at the royal courts in London – the courts of Common Pleas, King’s Bench and Exchequer.

In order to achieve consistency, the judges placed great reliance on previous judgments given in similar cases. This practice has given rise to the doctrine of judicial precedent on which all law, other than legislation passed by Parliament, is based. Judges are bound to follow the decision of the courts above the in the hierarchy, and the appellate courts are generally bound follow previous decisions at their own level.

Since Pakistan was a British Colony, it inherits a legal system that was present in Britain. English courts had evolved the law case by case, and English lawyers derived their law from the reports of the judges’ decisions rather than from jurists’ writings.

Due to this fine distinction, it is far more important to assign your case to a lawyer well conversant with the case laws and statutes, since these precedents form the main basis of decision in Pakistani Courts. Most of the case law is and was developed through interpretation of statutes it is also a imperative for a lawyer to have keen eye on Statutes and change proposed in them for resolving of civil dispute.

ADJUDICATING COMMON LAW CASES (CIVIL LAW DISPUTES)

In a common law jurisdiction several stages of research and analysis are required to determine what “the law is” in a given situation. First, one must ascertain the facts. Then, one must locate any relevant statutes and cases. Then one must extract the principles, analogies and statements by various courts of what they consider important to determine how the next court is likely to rule on the facts of the present case. Later decisions, and decisions of higher courts or legislatures carry more weight than earlier cases and those of lower courts. Finally, one integrates all the lines drawn and reasons given, and determines what “the law is”. Then, one applies that law to the facts.

 

Child Adoption law in Pakistan

 

adoption laws

With regard to the concept of adoption in Islam, we seek guidance from Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). At the time of prophet’s marriage (P.B.U.H) with Hazrat Khadija (R.A), she gave a slave namely Zayd Bin Haritha to Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) took good care of him and their relationship changed from that of master and a slave into one of father and son. Zayd was one of the first persons to have accepted Islam

. When his father and uncles came to know about his whereabouts, they came to Makkah and told Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) that Zayd had been captured by some thieves and sold into slavery. The Prophet set him free, but Zayd refused to leave Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and go home with his father. Haritha the father of Zayd, became very angry and openly declared that from now on “Zayd is not my son”. The Prophet immediately responded by adopting Zayd. Zayd came to be know as Zayd Bin Muhammad. This continued till after the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) migrated to Medina. Zayd had grown up and was now a married man. However, his marriage did not work out. Allah revealed some verses related to Zayd’s divorce in which Almighty also talks about the issue of ‘re-naming’ the adopted children.

 

The Almighty says:

 

‘And Allah did not make your adopted children your sons. This is only your words coming from your tongues. And Allah says the truth and He guides you to the right path. Call them with reference to their (real) fathers. It is more just in the sight of Allah”. (33.4)

 

What this means is that adoption does not change the relationship of a person with his real parents and siblings, nor does it create real relationship between him and his adoptive parents and their children. The practical implications of this view on the one hand is that all the rules which apply between blood relatives are still valid; for example the child will still be mahram; that an adopted child cannot marry his/her real siblings; he or she is also eligible for inheritance from the real parents; and there is no need for hijab between the child and his or her real family. On the other hand, the rules that apply between non-related persons are still valid. For example, adoption would not create the mahramiyyat between child and the new family. In Islam, the right of inheritance is based on uterine relationship.

 

However, there is only one case of adoption where a sort of semi-familial relationship and mahramiyyat is created between the adopted child and the adoptive family: when the adopted child is below two years of age and is also breast-fed directly by the adoptive mother for at least a day and a night. This creates a foster rizai relationship , and the child is mahram to the new family- there is no need for hijab, nor can the child marry the real children of the adoptive parents. However, in case of inheritance, even a rizai child has no right in the estate of the adoptive parents. But as mentioned above, the adoptive parents can write up to one third of their   estate for their adopted child.

 

Marriage Laws in Pakistan | Muslim Family Laws

Pakistan marriage law is governed by Muslim Family law ordinance 1961.  After partition in 1947, in 1961, Muslim family Laws Ordinance was passed, which drew a lot of criticism from religious leaders.  Under Islamic law, the validity of a marriage contract does not in anyway depend on the performance of any recorded ceremony or documentation, capacity, mutual consent etc. The witnesses on the occasion being the only requisite to make the contract valid and binding.  The law requires that every marriage solemnized under the Muslim Law shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of `Muslim family Laws Ordinance.’  Section 6 of the Ordinance deals with Polygamy. It states that no man, during subsistence of an existing marriage, shall except with the previous permission in writing of the Arbitration Council, contract another marriage, nor shall any such marriage contracted without such permission be registered. With regards to Islamic stance in polygamy, the verse from Quran states, “…marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one.” (Quran 4:3)

 The bottom line is that if a man marries more than 4 wives, he must be able to do justice to all of them and deal them equally. If there is fear that he will not be able to do so, he must not marry more than one.

There is a lot of controversy between what the law states when it comes to consenting adults wanting to marry and their parents are against their marriage. Well the position of the law is that when adults are consenting and of the required age, they are free to marry and record the same in presence of witnesses and parents can not stop them from marrying their chosen partners. However, the Islamic position is actually in contrast. Islam clearly requires the permission or consent of wali before a woman can marry a man.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2078 Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu`minin

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: ‘The marriage of a woman who marries without the consent of her guardians (wali) is void.’ (He (saws) said these words three times.)

Islam on the other hand is also against forced marriages and does not consider a marriage valid where the girl does not consent.

It is not permissible for the guardian, whether he is the father or anyone else, to marry off anyone under his care without her consent, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A previously-married woman has more right concerning herself than her guardian, and the permission of a virgin should be sought (regarding marriage), and her permission is her silence.” Narrated by Muslim, 1421.

In Islam, consent of girl and her father is important for marriage. But this is something which is not contained within the provisions of Pakistani law.  The law simply states that offer and acceptance by or on behalf of two sane Muslim adults of opposite sex in the presence of witnesses to marry each other. With dower also a necessary concomitant of a contract of marriage.

Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan: Role, Achievements – A Case for reforms

The law and Justice Commission of Pakistan is a Federal Government institution, established under an Ordinance (XIV) of 1979. The composition of the commission is such that Chief justice of Pakistan is at the top of hierarchy and it subordinate members include chief justice of federal Shariat court, chief justice of High Courts, Attorney General for Pakistan, Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights and Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women and four other member, one from each province.

Functions of the Law Commission:

Purpose of the law commission is to conduct critical study of existing laws and to propose amendments and suggest reforms. Recently the law commission met and proposed reforms with regards to proposals regarding amendments to section 91 and 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and recommended that suits in respect of public nuisance and public charities may be brought by two or more persons with the leave of the Court in addition to being brought by the Advocate General.

The Commisison also deliberated and passed the proposal with regards to amending section 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 and recommended addition of new subsection (4) to the effect that the police officer or other person making arrest shall not use any means which may cause death of, or grievous bodily injury to the person being arrested unless there is probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested poses an imminent threat of causing death or grievously bodily injury either to the police officer, the person making arrest or any other person making arrest.

The Commission also approved the law reform proposal by addition of new section 54-A in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 and recommended that every person, upon arrest, by police officer, shall be informed of the grounds of his arrest.

The Commission also approved the law reform proposal by addition of the new section 9-A in the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 and recommended that a parent who is unable to maintain himself shall be entitled to claim maintenance from his children.

The Commission also approved the law reform proposals by amending the Fatal Accident Act, 1855 and recommended that suits under the said law shall be brought for the benefit of the legal heirs of the deceased, same may be awarded with interim compensation and the cases under the said law shall be decided within a period of six months.

The Commission also approved the law reform proposal regarding amendment to section 9 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961 and recommended that the said section may also provide for annual increase of the amount of maintenance. The Commission also approved the Law Reform Proposals regarding amendments to Rule 4 of the Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Rules, 1976 to the effect that parties to have option to attach the list of dowry articles, presents and gifts with the Nikah Nama.

These are some of the areas, which the law commission recently has introduced in Pakistan Criminal and Civil Procedural laws.  However, appreciable as it is, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

For instance, the recent technological innovations particularly in the information technology sector need to be fully utilised in the administration of justice as that will help ease the process and make it speedy. It will also make justice process more accessible to ordinary citizens. For example, lately, Pakistan has seen immense improvement in mobile telecommunication with auctioning of 3G and 4G licences.

Reforms:

It is the need of the hour that law commission of Pakistan inducts professionals who are young and dynamic and who understand and can keep pace with recent technological advancements so that they can propose different changes within the legal system. For instance, the process of summons is a very old mechanism, which is in place in Pakistan and needs to be updated. Process serving needs to be upgraded in line with technological options available so that essential time conducted in litigation is not wasted simply because of non-serving of summons.  May other reforms related to how cases are filed and scrutiny of important from important ones also needs to take place so as to achieve the desired result of quick and cheap justice.

What are the Property Laws in Pakistan

 

Article 4 subsection 2 of the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides that no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law. This article of the constitution provides protection to all citizens of Pakistan with regards to their property rights.

In such broader protection follow detailed legislation, which provides how such property is to be protected.  Property law basically governs ownership in real property and or personal property. Real property is often categorized as immovable property and personal property relates to that which is moveable. So real estate like land would be real property and your car would be your personal property, which is moveable.

Let us consider some important areas of law with regards to protection of property.

The Transfer of Property Act, 1882

This law governs the ‘transfer of property’, which means an act by which a person is to convey property to one or more persons. The person can be a body corporate, it could be a transfer from one to many or to ones self. The transfer could be one, which is for present or for a future date. Property is broadly classified in two types mentioned above. A transfer of property effectively transfers all rights and obligations contained within such property and the transferee is then capable of subsequently passing such rights to another buyer. Every person who the law holds as competent to contract is competent to transfer property. Section 6 of Transfer of Property Act 1882 provides that any type of property can be transferred provided that the law allows the person holding property to transfer it. In other words the transferee is not barred by any condition precedent, which prohibits him/her from transferring such property.

So Transfer of Property Act 1882 is the main legislation dealing with transfer of property.

Land Revenue Act, 1967

It is law, which relates to making and maintenance of records of rights, the assessment and collection of land revenue and the appointment and function of revenue officers and other matters connected with the Land Revenue.

Stamp Act 1899

An act to provide authenticity to executed documents between parties. It provides a legal sanctity to such documents. Aims of the stamp Act also include that the government can increase their revenue by charging fee for stamps.  The stamped document ensures that it holds evidentiary value, creation of rights, preventing fraud etc..

Registration Act 1908

This act provides for instances where registration of document is compulsory. For instance, instruments of gifts of immovable property, lease of immovable property, composition deed, any instrument relating to shares in a Joint Stock Company etc

Above is a brief synopsis of the laws, which relate to property. AskWakeel is proud to announce that it comprises those lawyers who are expert in property laws and they can appropriately address any queries you may have.

How to Get Free Legal Advice with Lawyer in Pakistan

They say a good timely advice of a lawyer is worth its weight in gold. Its true.

But Pakistan is not an easy country if you want to get honest legal advice. More so, because lawyers are not easily accessible to ordinary members of public. They normally are located in Katchery (District Court) with small chambers. The Katchery is not a very welcoming place for those who have not had brushes with the law.  Katchery locates, various lawyers, of all sorts, and the hackling which goes on with regards to their legal fee, is extremely embarrassing to say the least.

Given also that Pakistan has the highest number of poor litigants who often have to wait for a life-time to get a court decision, it becomes essential that we begin by providing free advice to these citizens so that they can be rightly guided well before matters complicate. It is that legal culture we need to promote to create better awareness amongst the masses.  Citizens of Pakistan need to know what their constitutional rights are and awareness of the same needs to be made simple.

The initiative by AskWakeel really addresses that problem. It bridges the gap between ordinary citizens and lawyers by use of technology and brings home honest legal advice, which is thoroughly monitored. AskWakeel also ensures that those who are dispensing advice are certified legal professionals.

In recent years, Pakistan has witnessed a surge in Internet technology and with easy availability of smart phones, it has now become easy for people to connect with each other.  AskWakeel makes use of such technology and removes the burden of physically locating a lawyer or negotiating their fee. For instance, a woman who in Pakistan’s male dominated environment, would otherwise feel insecure going to katchery to look for a lawyer, would now with the ease of technology by AskWakeel, effortlessly would get in touch with a lawyer who could provide much needed advice within the comfort of her home. At AskWakeel you are sure to have a real meeting experience with the lawyer. All such calls are monitored and recorded.

Making a payment is also easy and offers a number of options. The staff at AskWakeel is also extremely cooperative and are happy to refund back any charges if you write to them within 7(seven) days of receiving advice that you are unhappy with the services, AskWakeel would refund you under the 7 days Refund Policy.

There is more. Not only is the advice free, if you need documents delivered to you on door step, may be a stamp paper with tenancy agreement or a car sale agreement etc, You just need to inform your lawyer that you need a particular document, the lawyer would work on it and upload the same in your personalised chat window, so you can review. The same is delivered to your doorstep at extremely nominal charges. So, yes, AskWakeel has changed how legal is done in Pakistan.

Another important issue particularly for overseas Pakistani’s is that if they need immediate legal advice for their legal issues in Pakistan, and because of being in offshore destinations, it is extremely difficult for them to locate a lawyer and trust him/her with their work, they can with great ease assign their tasks to the team at AskWakeel. At AskWakeel it becomes easy for them to have a certified lawyer speak to them and provide guidance.

Is it only free advice. What about representation?

Because AskWakeel has inducted lawyers from all across Pakistan, we are able to undertake your assignments and physically represent you in Pakistan. Our AskWakeel experts are able to successfully accomplish your task and report progress updates online. Because we are not connected with them, we act in your best interest and make sure that the lawyer has effectively helped to achieve your end objective.

No. 1 Lawyers in Pakistan – Top Lawyers List Pakistan

The International Society of Law Firms brings together the world’s finest law firms that share a commitment to providing quality service for reasonable fees. Meeting our rigorous standards isn’t easy, so you can have the confidence in any of our 3,000 attorneys from nearly 200 member law firms. With firms in over 40 countries and 130 cities around the world, we are a truly global legal team – offering seamless and efficient service, wherever your legal needs may be.

Justice system is much important, if any person of the country fail to get instant justice then that country can never make a success. The justice system of any country can only be strong if it will have the eligible kind of lawyers and judges. If we talk about Pakistan then, List of notable or famous lawyers from Pakistan, with bios and photos, including the top lawyers born in Pakistan and even some popular lawyers who immigrated to Pakistan. If you’re trying to find out the names of famous Pakistani lawyers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These lawyers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known lawyer from Pakistan is included when available.

This list has a variety of people in it, from Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Muhammad Iqbal. The International Society of Law Firms offers the highest quality Pakistan Law Firms. Speak directly with a trusted Pakistan law firm. Also, with local Pakistan Counsel and independent law firms servicing Pakistan, all fifty states and over 40 countries around the world, Askwakeel is sure to have the attorney you are looking for.

These historic lawyers from Pakistan list can help. These prominent lawyers of Pakistan may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they’re all respected Pakistani lawyers.

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada

(24 February 1935 – 1 September 2015) was a Pakistani lawyer, legal theorist, and politician, who served variously as Minister for Information, Minister for Law, Minister for Finance, and Minister for Education under President and later Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from 1971 to 1977. As Law Minister, he is credited as a principal draftsman of the Constitution of Pakistan, passed in 1973.

Trained as a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, Pirzada was a founding member of the Pakistan People’s Party. He was elected to the National Assembly in the elections of 1970, holding several ministerial portfolios in the Bhutto government. After the government was deposed by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1977, Pirzada unsuccessfully assisted with Bhutto’s defense in his criminal trial for murder. He briefly led the PPP before being imprisoned by the Zia regime, eventually leaving the party over differences with Benazir Bhutto, and retiring from politics.

Afrasiab Khattak

is a left-wing politician from the State of Pakistan. He is currently representing the Kohat Division of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province in the Pakistan Senate.

Inspired by the Russian communist party, Khattak joined the pro-Soviet Communist Party. He later joined the socialist party named Awami National Party in 1980. He is the President of the Awami National Party’s central secretariat based in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province and as well as Chairman of the special standing committee senate. Khattak started his political activism in the 1970s, but escaped to Soviet Union to divert the effects of the Great Purge authorized by far-right wing regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. In the 1980s, he took asylum in Afghanistan Soviet Republic, serving as the top adviser to the Soviet government in matters involving Afghanistan. After the Fall of Kabul, Khattak settled back to Pakistan and founded the Afghanistan Pakistan People’s Friendship Association in 2001. In 2002, Khattak was appointed as the president of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).In 2006; Khattak joined the Awami National Party.

Aftab Gul Khan

 (born March 31, 1946, Gujar Khan, Punjab) is a former Pakistani cricketer who played in 6 Tests from 1969 to 1971.

Gul was an opening batsman who represented a number of first-class sides in Pakistan from 1964-65 to 1977-78. His initial selection in the Test side, when England toured Pakistan during 1968-69 amid political turmoil, had less to do with his cricketing abilities than with his position as a student leader, in an attempt to placate the rioters.

Gul scored more than 1000 runs in the tour of England in 1971. In the first over of the First Test at Birmingham in that series, he was struck on the head by a ball from Alan Ward and was forced to retire. This injury drew the famous line from Brian Johnston on the BBC the next day: “Gul’s all right. The doctor inspected his head this morning and found nothing in it.” He also toured England in 1974 but was less successful and did not play any of the Tests.

He is a lawyer by profession. Gul initially represented the cricketer Salman Butt in the infamous spot fixing case.

Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan

(born 27 September 1945) is a Pakistani politician and a lawyer who serves as the Senator from Punjab, in office since 2012.

Born in Murree, Ahsan studied law at the Government College and received a LLM from the Downing College, Cambridge. Ahsan became the Planning and Development Minister for Punjab in 1975. After the Operation Fair Play Ahsan became a prominent figure of the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy. Ahsan was elected to the National Assembly from Lahore in 1988 and served as the Interior minister of Pakistan under Benazir Bhutto’s first government and served until 1990.

Ahsan was elected as a member of the Senate in 1994. He re-joined the cabinet after Benazir re-election, and went on to serve as the Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights until 1997. He served as the minority leader in the Senate between 1996 and 1999. Ahsan was elected to National Assembly again in 2002, and went on to serve as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association between 2007 and 2008. Ahsan was elected to the senate in 2012 and in 2015 became the minority leader.

Ali Ahmad Kurd

is a Pakistani lawyer who has served as President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and is prominent in the Lawyers’ Movement in that country. He opposed President Pervez Musharraf.

While vice-chairman of the Baluchistan Bar Association in 2002, Ali Ahmad Kurd staged a protest burning of amendments to the constitution that had been proposed by Musharraf. The action formed part of wider protests by lawyers’ associations, religious bodies and political parties in reaction to what they perceived to be attempts by Musharraf to undermine his opponents and consolidate his own power.

Kurd was briefly detained on 29 April 2007 in Quetta on the charges of inciting people during an absentia funeral of Nawab Akbar Bugti a year earlier. His detention was protested by lawyers and police released him, claiming that there had been no arrest and that the matter was a misunderstanding. Kurd was at that time vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council.

After imposing martial law in Pakistan on 3 November 2007, Musharraf suspended the constitution and Kurd was among those placed under house arrest. He was released in March 2008.

Later, in March 2009 when President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Kurd led protests by lawyers seeking the return of an independent judiciary. These protests were influential in the reinstatement of Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry as Chief Justice. Chaudhry had been removed from his position by Musharraf and the decision was not reversed under the presidency of Asif Ali Zardari until the lawyers began a mass march from Lahore to Islamabad that was supported by large crowds and coincided with rioting.

In 2012, Kurd was considered as a nominee for the post of Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz but was ruled out of contention due to constitutional ineligibility. He had also been considered as a possible caretaker prime minister.

Amir Ali Majid

is a legal scholar and author born in Gojra, Punjab, Pakistan.

He was in his second year at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad when he lost his sight. Nevertheless, he went on to receive his B.A., LL.B., LL.M., as well as diplomas in Air and Space Law and International Law.

He is the first blind person in the world to become a Doctor of Civil Law (McGill University). In addition, he is a member of the Higher Education Academy.

His other accomplishments include:

  • Reader in International Law, London Metropolitan University
  • Part-time Immigration Judge
  • Adjunct Professor in Law, Webster University
  • Visiting Professor (1996), Quaid-e-Azam University
  • Senior Research Fellow (2001), Islamabad Policy Research Institute
  • Erasmus Lecturer, 2003, Frankfurt, Germany

He has published one book, newspaper articles and 35 articles in British, German, Dutch, and American journals.

In 2003, he met with Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf to discuss disability rights in the country.

Ansar Burney

is a leading Pakistani human rights and civil rights activist. He is a graduate of Masters and Law from Karachi University and honorary recipient of a PhD. in Philosophy. He is widely accredited as being the first man to introduce the concept of human rights in Pakistan nearly 30 years ago.

Asma Jilani Jahangir

(born 27 January 1952 in Lahore) is a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She is widely known for playing a prominent role in the Lawyers’ Movement and serves as the trustee at the International Crisis Group.

Born and raised in Lahore, Jahangir studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary before receiving her B.A from Kinnaird and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978. In 1980, Jahangir was called to the Lahore High Court and to the Supreme Court in 1982. In the 1980s, Jahangir became a democracy activist and was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq. In 1986, she moved to Geneva, and became the vice-chair of the Defense for Children International and remained until 1988 when she moved back to Pakistan.

In 1987 she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and became its Secretary General until 1993 when she was elevated as commission’s chairperson. She was again put under house arrest in November 2007 after the imposition of martial law. After serving as one of the leaders of the Lawyers’ Movement, she became Pakistan’s first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. She has co-chaired South Asia Forum for Human Rights and was the vice president of International Federation for Human Rights.

Jahangir served as the United Nations Special Reporter on Freedom of Religion from August 2004 to July 2010, including serving on the U.N. panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights violations and on a fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements. Jahangir is the recipient of several awards including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award (along with Edward Snowden), 2010 Freedom Award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1995 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights. She was awarded an Officer de la Légion d’honneur by France.

Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir

is a Pakistani politician who is the current Minister of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan.A member of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Tahir briefly served as Governor of Gilgit–Baltistan in 2015.

Tahir is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, currently representing Sheikhupura.

Chaudhry Amir Hussain

is a Pakistani politician. He was the 17th Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan, serving from 2002 to 2008.

Chaudhry Amir Hussain was born in the city of Sialkot, to a Gujjar family.

On October 2, 2007, 85 Pakistani opposition lawmakers resigned from the country’s parliament to derail President Pervez Musharraf’s re-election bid. The Parliament was to elect the new president before October 15. National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain stated that the resignations would not affect the presidential election.

Hussain was defeated in the February 2008 parliamentary election