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Introductory Remarks by Chief Justice

Islamabad:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a great pleasure for me to make a few introductory remarks at the launch of the book “Counter-Terrorism: International Law and Practice”. The book is co-edited by Ana Maria Salinas de Frias, Katja Samuel and Nigel White and published by Oxford University Press. I am delighted to know that the principal editor and visionary of the Project – Dr. Katja Samuel, who is a Barrister and an Associate Lecturer at Nottingham University, UK may be with us today to introduce this book, as well as the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan, who is one of the contributing experts.

This book is a valuable work wherein so many established luminaries from all over the world have made notable contribution. The book is very skillfully divided into five parts and 38 chapters, assigning a great variety of topics and dealing with them with the help of case law, UN Resolutions, International Treaties and various Declarations. A great scholarly work has been produced out of its analysis. It gives rise to our understanding of International Law and leads us to raise many interesting questions that need to be addressed in the jurisprudence of International Legal Regime.

It is a most prestigious and timely book, which examines many significant issues of great concern to Pakistan today as well. As a nation, we have suffered much due to terrorism for many years – whether it is national, cross border or international terrorism; both from the threat of terrorist attacks as well as domestic and international efforts to fight this phenomenon. As practitioners and judges, we are primary guardians in ensuring that the rule of law is always respected, including through insisting on areas of executive restraint where necessary.

By way of brief background, the book is the primary outcome of a 3 – year multinational, multidisciplinary project, which examines what the rule of law means in the context of counter-terrorism. It is a collaborative initiative between Nottingham University, UK; the Club of Madrid – 80 former heads of States from 56 democratic countries committed to furthering democratic values worldwide, who include Her Excellency Mrs. Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland.

The singularity that comes to my mind after a cursory perusal of the book is that the International Legal Regime is suffering similar problems which all our domestic legal systems have gone through: a balance between justice and order, enforcement of laws and simultaneous protection of Human Rights, dominant working to control Rules Regimes, and above all, a selective approach towards the application and observance of International Law.

On a lighter note, may I say that speaking about my experience of the Lawyers’ Movement, perhaps the International Legal Regime requires a similar movement to protect the norms and values of the International Law, the way our Lawyers’ Movement protected the Rule of Law and Constitution. It was a movement of selfless people striving for the benefit of the system and its people; and against the arrogance of the brutal forces which came to set aside the norms of justice.

In the short time available to me, I had the occasion to read only some of the Articles with keen interest, one of which is the Article authored by our worthy editor Barrister Katja Samuel, and my brother Judge Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. The topic of Justice Jillani’s paper was ‘Impunity and the Emerging Patterns of International Justice’. One learns to be more appreciative when one sees how the lawyers and the civil society were firm and strong to sacrifice when the system was challenged by the forces with vested interests apart from the norms of justice.

Reading this book affirms what has been a time old phenomenon that how quickly the forces of dominance create reasons for bypassing the use of law through which they want to achieve their interests in the name of justice and necessity. Our resolve is the same, as is the overall theme and recommendations of this great effort: that no matter how tiring this may look, there is no better method than to subscribe to the Rule of Law and the norms of justice.
Ladies and Gentlemen:

The book has beautifully been concluded by the final remarks that there can be no exact definition of the term ‘terrorism’ as it varies from region to region because of changing scenarios. Terrorism is by its nature a threat to national, and potentially international, peace and security and breaches fundamental principles of international law, counter-terrorism should be proportionate response to specific terrorist acts and threats and should comply with international law at all times.

The analysis made in this book provides that some relatively clear rules exist, including rules on the use of force against terrorists and their detention, treatment and trial. Most of these rules derive from international human rights law, which may be derogated from in situations of terrorism. The analysis shown in the book suggests that the states of emergency are exceptional and even if established do not justify draconian, sweeping measures.

The rule of law requires a carefully calibrated scale of counter-terrorism measures, which are a combination of a criminal justice approach based on human rights compliant domestic criminal law and international criminal law. All the contributions in this book have shown how counter-productive erosions to the rule of law can be. States should, therefore, concentrate not on pushing the boundaries of the law beyond breaking point, sometimes to the extent that they are indistinguishable from the very people they are seeking to outlaw and punish; rather they should act as the principle subjects of international law that they consistently claim to be and thereby respect the rights and duties they have themselves created by treaty and custom. The rule of law should not just provide for the punishment of those that have committed wrongful acts but should also provide a framework for rebuilding societies shattered by violence or the further strengthening the legal orders based on accountable government.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The work is vital for shaping the measures for counter – terrorism, generally for the world and specifically for Pakistan who have suffered great loss of person and property in combating terrorist activities. The launch of the book on the occasion of this International Judicial Conference is of great significance.

I am sure the readers would be benefited by the painstaking work of the authors. Incidentally, one of the themes of the Conference was “Terrorism and money laundering”. The deliberations of the learned professionals would also be helpful to the relevant stakeholders in curbing this menace. I am also grateful for the time and input of other experts on these matters who have agreed to be on this panel today: Mr. Justice Abdul Salam Azimi, Chief Justice Afghanistan, Dr. Selami, Judge Rapporteur Turkish Constitutional Court and Barrister Katja Lilian Hamilton Samuel from UK with Mr. Justice Tariq Parvez and Mr. Justice Dost Muhammad Khan as Chair and Co-Chair respectively.

I congratulate the editor and the authors who have contributed to this global issue.

Thank you very much.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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