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September 21, 2019

‘Judges duty-bound to protect fundamental rights’


September 21, 2019

Islamabad : The Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) on Friday inaugurated Huqooq-e-Pakistan Human Rights Training Programme under which 60 Sessions judges would be given human rights training.

“Being subservient to the Constitution of Pakistan, Judges have a duty to ensure the protection of all fundamental rights for effective administration of justice said Justice (r) Arif Khilji, Director General, Sindh Judicial Academy.

He was addressing a first batch of 30 district judges from Sindh gathered for three-day training on “Human Rights, Gender and Law.” The training kicked off the 3-year long MoHR led and European Union (EU) funded Huqooq-e-Pakistan training and capacity building program for federal and provincial human rights institutions.

The Ministry of Human Rights through the Huqooq-e-Pakistan Programme (HeP) embarked on the joint initiative with the European Union for the Promotion of Human Rights in Pakistan in January this year. In April 2019, MoU was signed with the aim to train judges in laws pertaining to human rights and build awareness of the national and international human rights framework.

The training intervention of the Huqooq-e-Pakistan programme aims to acquaint and train judges, police and prosecution departments in laws pertaining to human rights in addition to the performance of their duties effectively within the ambit of the law and factoring in the specific context and human rights challenges faced by the country’s criminal justice system as a whole.

Ali Dayan Hasan, Senior Key Expert, Training and Capacity Building, said that the Ministry of Human Rights is cognizant of the importance of fair and speedy administration of justice. “Real justice can be achieved only by a proficient, capable and aware judiciary. Continuing judicial education in human rights has, therefore, to be regarded as an accepted part of judicial life, for independence of judges,” he added.

This is the first of such training courses for Sessions Judges. The training programme aims to sensitize and train stakeholders across the criminal justice system from all provinces on human rights standards and safeguards.

Supervised by HeP’s senior key expert on human rights, experts from the Legal Aid Society (LAS) imparted this training on human rights law related topics as well as “Principle of Policy”, “Precedents on Fundamental Rights”, “Case management”, “Judgement writing” and so on. The Sindh Judicial Academy also aims to integrate the learning from the training and capacity building interventions into all its future training sessions for the junior and senior judges of Sindh.

Haya Zahid, Executive Director, LAS added that “Despite the overburdened case dockets Judges had to be reminded about the nature of the day to day justice needs and struggles of the people. The training was designed to ensure grassroots experiences were shared with Judges so that the gap between their understanding of justice challenges of women, children and minorities was reduced.”

Adherence to Rule of Law and Human rights lies at the heart of the European Union’s values and consequently we are very happy to support MoHR in this ground breaking work” added Ingeborg Zorn, First Secretary European Union (EUD).

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