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November 30, 2019

Judge not different from Qasid if he doesn’t decide cases: CJP

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November 30, 2019

MULTAN: Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa has said the only thing that differentiates a judge in a courtroom from a Qasid (peon or helper), is that he decides cases and gives verdicts.

He was speaking at the Multan Colloquium-2019, held on the topic of ‘Dispensation of Justice: Changing Frontiers’ at the Lahore High Court Multan Bench, by the Multan High Court Bar Association (MHCBA) on Friday. MHCBA President Malik Haider Osman presided over the colloquium, while lawyers read out their papers. The chief justice remarked, “Being a judge, I decided that none of the cases will be adjourned in my court. In my court, a case can only be adjourned on two conditions, if a lawyer dies or if a judge passes away."

Khosa urged young lawyers to not only protect the past rich traditions of legal fraternity but also pass it on to the next generation, as not keeping up with past traditions is the major cause of decline in lawyers’ profession. He said lawyers should be committed to their profession to keep intact the relationship between a client and a lawyer.

The chief justice refreshed his memories when he was a practicing lawyer in Multan with Dera Ghazi Khan district as part of the Multan division. He said those were great times of rich traditions, when he spent time with senior lawyers and learnt a lot from them. He said today there is no bond of mutual respect between senior and junior lawyers, which was the core value in the past. When the tradition of mutual respect was alive, never any incident of frustration occurred in the courtroom. But now frustration is visible during day to day court proceedings due to ignorance of rich traditions of the past, he added.

The CJ said that the situation had brought imbalances in the profession. No lawyers want in-depth pleading of a case, but shortage of judges, who are overburdened with cases, demands precise presentation of arguments. This situation increases frustration among lawyers. The second imbalance is related to mushroom growth of law colleges and induction of fresh law graduates in the profession. Seniors are not available in the profession to meet the number of fresh law graduates each year. There was a practice in the past that junior lawyers used to spend five to six years with their seniors before starting their career independently.

The CJP said that now the situation is that junior lawyers have their juniors in the profession, who have no proficiency and link with the past traditions and they are creating problems in the profession. The junior lawyers lack opportunities to learn from their seniors.

The CJ said bar associations should play their role in minimising the imbalances and arrange trainings for young law-graduates, which should be compulsory before starting independent practice. He said he spent 40-45 years in law profession and he was feeling deeply about transfer of the past traditions to juniors.

The CJ highlighted three basics to become a good lawyer, including proficiency in history, mathematics and literature. When a lawyer is drafting his petition, he must care about the history and be aware of law interpretations, made by superior judiciary from time to time. A lawyer needs solid quotes from the history, so he must be proficient in history, he added. A lawyer needs to furnish arguments in his petition, so he must be proficient in mathematics to prove his stance in his petition. A lawyer uses variety of words in his petition and he would not do it until he has proficiency in literature.

The chief justice said that often they use an incomplete sentence that bars and benches are two wheels of cart, but there is a third character of horse in the cart and he is the litigant. The lawyers must care about the interests of litigants, he added.

Our Lahore correspondent adds: Chief Justice of Pakistan-designate Gulzar Ahmad on Friday said women judges played a crucial role in development and encouragement of women in eliminating gender bias.

He said the women working in judiciary had become a role model for the women sitting at homes. "Role of men and women is equally important for the prosperity of the country," said Justice Ahmad speaking at 3rd Women Judges Conference held by Punjab Judicial Academy (PJA) and Lahore High Court (LHC).

He stressed on the need to have true representation of women on all levels of the judiciary. He applauded efforts and work of the women judges and promised to work towards improving the court environment, making it more accessible and sensitive.

He noted that the women judges in district judiciary had been dealing with complicated cases regarding women and children. He said the women judges needed to be encouraged more so that they could dispense with justice without any fear.

Justice Ahmad was of the view that no society could excel without encouraging its women. He said the conference hosted by the Punjab Judicial Academy was in fact a voice of whole judiciary.

LHC Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan discussed issues of gender discrimination and said the high court was in process of establishing gender-based violence and juvenile courts throughout the province. He emphasised the need to improve accessibility to courts and stated that efforts were being made to improve the court environment.

Justice Ayesha A Malik of the LHC underlined the importance of the gender perspective in upholding the rule of law. She focused on the use of gender neutral language and providing a more gender sensitive court environment for women, children and the differently-able persons.

She said gender perspective was an all inclusive concept which was not just for women but for all judges and that the women judges had a role to play in bringing this perspective to the forefront.

Speaking on the occasion, PJA Director General Habibullah Amir and Director Programmes Ms Jazeela Aslam recognised the efforts of the Justice Ayesha A Malik for the initiative of the conference.

The conference was attended by the women judges of Punjab who will spend next two days discussing issues of the Gender Perspective in the Civil Justice System, Criminal Justice System, and the Digital World.

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