Supreme Court of Pakistan to get its first female judge

The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) has confirmed the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik to the country’s top court amid strong protest by lawyers who have been opposing her elevation as it supersedes several senior judges

Jan 07, 2022
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The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) has confirmed the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik

The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) has confirmed the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik to the country’s top court amid strong protest by lawyers who have been opposing her elevation as it supersedes several senior judges. Lawyers had earlier threatened to go on strike if the JCP confirmed her appointment. 

Her name was cleared with majority votes, as five members of the JCP voted in favor and four opposed it. The confirmation came in the second JCP meeting after the earlier meeting in September last year to consider her name was postponed amid protests. 

"Justice Malik is junior to many judges serving in the country's five high courts," Abdul Latif Afridi, president of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association, said. He has called for a nationwide strike of lawyers. 

On Thursday, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) had threatened to boycott the courts if the JPC cleared Justice Ayesha Malik's name for elevation.

Her name would now be considered by the Parliament Committee. And, in most cases, the committee clears the names approved by the JCP. 

Known for her landmark judgment, banning the two-finger and hymen tests on rape victims, Justice Malik, 55, is an LLM graduate from Harvard Law School. She founded a law firm and practiced laws for years before her elevation to Lahore High Court in 2012. She is currently the fourth seniormost judge in the Lahore High Court.

Once approved by the parliament committee, Justice Ayesha Malik will serve as a supreme court judge until June 2031. By 2030, she would be the senior-most judge in the country, and would likely be Pakistan’s first woman chief justice.  

(SAM)

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