Islamabad, July 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): Learned Chief Justice and Judges of Lahore High Court;
Worthy President and Office Bearers of Rawalpindi Bar Association;
Learned Members of the Bar;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is indeed a great honour and a privilege for me to be here with you today on the occasion of inauguration of the Judicial Complex at Rawalpindi. I must say that the construction of judicial complexes is one of the most welcome developments in the recent times, as it aims at providing easy access to justice to the public by bringing all the district courts under one roof.
It is a historic moment to inaugurate this state of the art Judicial Complex of District Courts, Rawalpindi. I hope that the new building will have far reaching effects on the administration of justice in the District. Almost every Judicial Reforms Commission has invariably highlighted the issue of inadequate infrastructure facilities in terms of court buildings, residential colonies for the Judges and the Court staff, libraries, bar rooms, etc., and recommended urgent measures for the redressal of these problems. Lastly, the issue was focussed in the Access to Justice Programme launched by the Federal Government with the aid of the Asian Development Bank.
It is a matter of great satisfaction that with the construction of the new Court complex, a longstanding demand of the bench and bar has been fulfilled and the problems of inadequate facilities in the existing building have been redressed. I heartily congratulate all the stakeholders, the Chief Justice and Judges of the Lahore High Court, the Judges and the staff of the District Judiciary, the office bearers of the Rawalpindi, and of course the litigant public for getting the new Court premises.
I am informed that the new building comprises 48 courtrooms, 3 bar rooms, judicial colony, bkhashi khana, litigants shed, mosque, etc. I am confident that these facilities will provide better working conditions for all concerned and enable them to play their role with greater commitment and dedication in providing expeditious and inexpensive justice to the litigant public at their doorstep.
Bar Associations play a vital role in promoting and defending the rule of law. In this country, the lawyers being one of the privileged and learned classes of the society, have always been in the forefront of all the struggles, whether social or political; for the attainment of the goal of fair dispensation of justice in accord with constitutional norms.
The restoration of judiciary in 2009, supremacy of the Constitution and the establishment of rule of law all were made possible due to the struggle and sacrifices of the lawyers community. The Rawalpindi Bar Association indeed was the flag bearer in the historic movement launched by the lawyers for independence of judiciary and cause of justice in the country.
It is one of the old bars of the country; and the level of reverence and respect shown by its members to the judiciary is unprecedented. It has equally contributed to the effective implementation of Judicial Policy for curbing corruption and facilitating expeditious disposal of cases in the District.
District judiciary forms a cardinal part of the civil and criminal justice system and its performance is crucial for prompt justice and securing basic human rights to the people at grass root level. A highest degree of integrity, efficiency and commitment to perform duties, is expected from the judges at all levels and especially from the judges of the district courts who exercise vast powers and authority under the law for analyzing the facts and reaching at the truth of the case. The judges of the district courts must be in a position to render transparent and impartial decisions, without being influenced by fear or favour.
Law is a dynamic process and it changes shapes, in line with changing realities and emerging challenges. The judges are required to improve their skills through continuous learning by means of legal training and research and thereby improving their understanding of the law. They need to learn the latest techniques of searching case-law through information technology tools.
In this globalized world, the laws of one country bear direct and indirect impact on the laws of other countries. Internet facility, which is available to all and sundry, provides prompt access to the laws and judicial decisions of almost all the countries of the world. Therefore, it is the need of the hour that the Judges learn the basic skills of web browsing and thereby acquaint themselves with the legal research databases and methodologies so as to have latest information about the changing trends in substantive and procedural laws of the foreign countries.
There is no doubt that the judges cannot legislate; however, they can at least set out such standards through their rational and research based judgments that serve as guidelines for the legislators for bringing necessary changes in the out-dated laws and regulations.
After formulation of National Judicial Policy 2009, as revised from time to time, the working and efficiency of the district courts have increased to a great extent and the credit goes to the judges as well as lawyers who in collaboration with each other made the Policy’s implementation possible.
The common problems of backlog of cases; delays and protracted litigation; frivolous litigation; corruption and certain procedural flaws are still there, although lesser in degree as compared to the past. No matter how much wisdom and experience is poured in identifying the problems, the instant and complete relief is very unlikely to be achieved; as the problems themselves are so complex.
However, proper case management and time management; identifying and analyzing problematic areas; consultation and collaboration between bar and bench; and devising mechanisms; will provide a gradual but significant cure for the same. The National Judicial Policy indeed furnishes the platform for the Bench and the Bar to cooperate and coordinate for achieving the objective of effective and efficient system of administration of justice in the country.
Judiciary is the ultimate protector of citizens’ rights and liberties. According to the constitutional principle of equality before law no one is over and above the law. Judiciary today is fully alert and responsive to the peoples’ grievances and sufferings. It will leave no stone unturned in securing their fundamental rights of life, liberty and property.
People of Pakistan repose great confidence in the Judiciary and it is the duty of judges as well as lawyers to act as a bulwark against constitutional excesses and arbitrariness in order to turn Pakistan into a true welfare State.
Lawyers play a crucial role in the successful operation of the system of criminal and civil justice. No doubt, they owe a primary obligation to look after the interests of their clients but at the same time they owe a duty of loyalty and faithfulness to the legal system as a whole in general, and to the courts in particular whose officers they are. They are under a duty to observe the legal and judicial ethics as prescribed in their code of conduct.
They have to meticulously and diligently observe court etiquettes. Their role is also vital in law making as many of them serve in parliaments and are often called upon to advise on the details of new laws. Being an integral part of the justice system, the role of lawyers is not confined to the legal justice but also extends to the areas of sociology, politics and economics. In Pakistan, lawyers no doubt have historically contributed handsomely to each in these areas.
The success of the justice system depends upon the services rendered by its legal professionals. They are the promoters and protectors of human rights and constitutional norms and as part of their professional duties, they are required to facilitate the Judiciary in delivering expeditious and inexpensive justice.
They share equal responsibility with the bench to keep ‘the stream of justice pure and unsullied’. The bar and the bench, the two proverbial wheels of the chariot of justice, are required to nurture a dynamic relationship of mutual respect, cooperation and liaison for achieving the goal of fair dispensation of justice, eradicating social evils, and building the society on the norms of justice, equality and fair play. I am hopeful that the lawyers as torchbearers of rule of law in legal and justice systems will continue their struggle for maintaining constitutional supremacy in Pakistan.
For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001