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> PILDAT Democracy & Governance Panel urges the establishment of a Judicial Appointment Commission to streamline Judicial Appointments
   
 
Democracy and Governance Panel
August 11, 2009
Islamabad

   

Islamabad, August 11; The PILDAT Democracy & Governance Panel has proposed that an urgent constitutional amendment be made to streamline the process of large number of expected judicial appointments in the country.

 
 

The members of the panel who were part of the meeting on August 10, 2009 in Lahore were unanimous in their view that the large number of vacancies that had been created in the Superior Courts as a result of the July 31, 2009 judgment of the Supreme Court on the unconstitutional measures taken from November 3, 2007 onwards should be filled on the basis of the process envisaged by the Charter of Democracy signed on May 14, 2006. The Parliamentary Committee should therefore urgently consider and adopt amendments in Article 177 and 193 of the Constitution.

 
 

The Panel proposed the insertion of Article 177-A after Article 177 of the Constitution on the Manner of appointment of Supreme Court and High Court Judges through which the President should constitute a Judicial Appointments Commission consisting of a retired Chief Justice of Pakistan as its Chairman and the Federal Minister for Law and Justice, the Attorney-General of Pakistan, the Chief Justices of the High Courts, the Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and, in case of appointments of High Court Judges, the Vice Chairmen of the respective Provincial Bar Councils and the Presidents of the respective High Court Bar Associations, as its members, to aid and advise him on the appointment of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Judges of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justices and Judges of the High Courts. For each appointment, the Judicial Appointments Commission should prepare a panel of thee persons and forward those to the President, who, after consultation with the Prime Minister, select one person from each panel and submit the same for the approval of a Joint Parliamentary Committee nominated by the Chairman Senate with the concurrence of the Speaker, National Assembly after consultation with the Parliamentary Heads of the Government and Opposition parties.

 
 

The PILDAT Panel has recommended that the Joint Parliamentary Committee should constitute between 10-20 members equally divided in strength between the government and the opposition parties as envisaged in the Charter of Democracy. While the Joint Parliamentary Committee is to elect its own Chairperson and frame and approve its own rules of procedure for consideration and approval of the names submitted by the President for appointment as Judges of the Superior Courts, it can not approve any person for appointment until he or she files a sworn affidavit that he/she shall never take an oath of office as a Judge other than the oath of office prescribed under Articles 178 and 194. Only after approval by the Joint Parliamentary Committee, the name of the person should be submitted to the President for appointment accordingly.

 
 

The members of the Panel who were part of the meeting included Justice (Retd.) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, Former Chief Justice of Pakistan; Mr. Ilahi Bukhsh Soomro, former Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan; Mr. Shahid Hamid, Senior Advocate Supreme Court; former Governor of the Punjab; Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Vice Chancellor, Beaconhouse National University / former Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs / for Finance; Dr. Hasan-Askari Rizvi, Political Analyst; Mr. Mujib ur Rehman Shami, Editor Daily Pakistan; Dr. Tariq Hassan, Advocate Supreme Court; former Chairman SECP; Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director and Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT.

 
 

The PILDAT Democracy and Governance Panel has earlier formulated and shared proposals for the repeal of the 17th Amendment for the consideration of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms.

 
 

View Proposals to repeal the 17th Amendment by the PILDAT Democracy & Governance Panel that were shared with the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms on August 03, 45%9