Islamabad, May 29, 2012 (PPI-OT): President of the Supreme Court of United Kingdom;
President of the International Council of Jurists;
Learned Members of the Bar;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would like to thank the “International Council of Jurists”, for conferring on me the “International Jurists Award, 2012” in recognition of my contribution in the field of administration of justice. I accept this award with profound gratitude, not just in recognition of my services but on behalf of the judiciary of Pakistan and indeed the People of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The struggle for independent judiciary and rule of law was carried out jointly by the bench and the bar and through the active support of the people of Pakistan. Indeed, my brother judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts stood firm in their resolve to stand by the Constitution and follow the law and not deviate from our oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and do justice to all manner of people without fear or favour.
It will be unfair, if I do not mention the contribution of various lawyer bodies and bar associations, academia, print and electronic media, students, human rights activists and members of the civil society, who stood-up with sole aim to restore independent minded judges and let the judiciary attain its rightful place and play its role.
They refused to accept the dictation of authoritarian intervener and carried out a long and arduous struggle for the preservation of the independence of judiciary and rule of law. The heroic struggle and sacrifices made by all of them led to the restoration of the judiciary to pre-3rd November 2007, position.
On 3rd November, 2007, the judicial system of Pakistan was subjected to an assault by means of unconstitutional and illegal instrument. The Judges of the superiors courts were stopped to work and detained.
However, for the first time in our history, out of eighteen judges of the Supreme Court, thirteen did not take oath and out of ninety three Judges of the High Courts, sixty one did not take the oath. The bench and the bar was unanimous in saying “No” to the arbitrary exercise of powers by the then Military Dictator.
The struggle of 180 million Pakistanis met with success and ultimately the judiciary was restored. After the restoration of judiciary, the actions of 3rd November were brought under challenge before the Supreme Court. A 14-Member Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Judges who had not taken oath under Provisional Constitutional Order 2007, declared all the actions of 3rd November, 2007 to be unconstitutional, illegal, hence void ab initio.
While receiving the award, I cannot ignore the luminaries in the legal and judicial field, who were nominated earlier for this Award. They are stalwarts in their own field and have immensely contributed towards the development of administration of justice. The recipients include, The Rt. Hon. Lord Phillips, Chief Justice of United Kingdom from whom today I received the Award.
Before parting, I on my own behalf, and on behalf of my brother judges and the legal fraternity, thank the International Council of Justice for the honour bestowed on me and the judiciary of Pakistan. This award will further strengthen our resolve and commitment to work for strengthening the independence of judiciary, upholding rule of law and serving the people of Pakistan in redressing their grievances and attaining their entitlements.
I also announce that I dedicate this prestigious award to the Pakistani nation because it is my firm belief that today I as a humble person stand in front of you because of my great nation including general public, members of legal fraternity, media and all other segments of society. Long live Pakistan.
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