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September 10, 2015

New CJ, his wife among distinguished couples of world judiciary


September 10, 2015


LAHORE: There are very few distinguished husbands and wives in global judicial history who have both served as court judges, either simultaneously or at different times. Pakistan’s new Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali (born December 31, 1951) and his spouse Justice Ashraf Jehan (born February 9, 1957) are just one such rare couple, research conducted by the Jang Group and Geo Television Network reveals.
Justice Ashraf Jehan was sworn in as a judge of the Federal Shariat Court on December 30, 2013, shortly before her husband’s 62nd birthday.
She was the first female judge to be appointed to the Federal Shariat Court in 33 years, thus making history.
She was previously serving as an Additional Judge at the Sindh High Court. Justice Ashraf Jehan had joined the judicial service as Civil Judge and First Class Magistrate in 1987 and was promoted as District and Sessions judge, Karachi East in 2003.
(References: December 31, 2013 edition of Daily Mail UK and AFP)
However, prior to Chief Justice Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali and his wife Justice Ashraf Jehan, Justice (R) Javed Iqbal (due to turn 91 on October 5 this year) and his life partner Justice (R) Nasira Iqbal (born 1937) had set up this precedent of a couple that had served as arbiters.
Justice Javed Iqbal, son of poet philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal, had served as Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court between 1982 and 1986, before being elevated to the Supreme Court of Pakistan on his 62nd birthday. He had performed duties as a Supreme Court arbiter till October 4, 1989.
Justice (R) Mrs. Nasira Iqbal was appointed to the Lahore High Court in 1994 and had served till 2002.
Like Pakistan, judicial history of both United States and the United Kingdom have witnessed two such couples each. In Vermont State (United States), during August 2015, the first-ever husband and wife team in country’s judicial history was appointed to the judiciary. While the Vermont Legal Aid lawyer Kirstin

Schoonover was named to the Vermont Superior Court, her husband, Brian Valentine was appointed just days later as a magistrate judge in the Family Division of the American State’s Superior Court. Another distinguished American couple (Justices William Untermann and Esther Untermann), had also served in the judiciary of Newark, which is the largest city in the American state of New Jersey.
According to various leading US newspapers, their combined years of service to and within the City of Newark spanned more than six decades from their marriage on April 1, 1920 through the 1980s. When he died suddenly, Judge Untermann’s wife, Esther, was named to take over for her husband and she held the post until her retirement from the bench four years later.
At the time, she was the first woman police judge in the City of Newark and one of the few sitting female judges in the entire United States. As for UK, Justice Dame Mary Howarth Mance (born 1947), a judge on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, and her husband Justice Jonathan Mance (born 1943), a UK Supreme Court arbiter since October 2009, are both currently serving the British judiciary.
While Justice Mary was appointed to the High Court in April 1993, Justice Jonathan had joined the Queen’s Bench Division in October 1993, making them the first married couple to sit on the High Court bench. The feat was matched in 2005, when Sir Charles Peter Lawford Openshaw and his wife Justice Caroline Swift were sworn in as London High Court judges in October 2005 on the same day.
(Reference: The September 30, 2005 edition of the BBC News)
The September 30, 2005 edition of the BBC News had stated: “Legal history is to be made when a married couple are sworn in together as High Court judges. Peter Openshaw, 57, and Caroline Swift, 50, will serve in the Queen’s Bench Division when they are sworn in at London’s Royal Courts of Justice.” And quite interestingly, in Australia, during June 2015, Justice Michelle Gordon had been sworn in as the newest High Court of Australia judge, replacing her husband Justice Kenneth Hayne on the bench—-thus narrowly missing the opportunity of serving together as adjudicators at the same time.




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