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Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan
(Supreme Court Building)
21th April, 2012
INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL CONFERENCE, 2013
The 3 days International Judicial Conference 2013 concluded with the adoption of
Islamabad Declaration. The concluding session was presided over by the Hon'ble Chief
Justice of Pakistan /Chairman, Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan. The Conference
was attended by Judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices and judges of the Federal
Shariat Court and the High Courts. The Chief Justices and judges of the Supreme Court
and High Court of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, the Supreme Appellate Court and Chief Court
of Gilgit Baltistan also attended the Conference. Delegates from many other countries
also attended the Conference which included the Hon'ble Chief Justice of Afghanistan,
Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Judge Supreme Court
of India, Judges of Supreme Court of Libya and Iran, Judge High Court of Bhutan, and
intellectuals, and eminent jurists from the UK, Iran, Afghanistan and India. This
International event was aimed at to provide opportunity to the relevant stakeholders to
share their views, experiences and best practices to evolve strategies for confronting the
challenges being faced in the administration of Justice.
On the second day of the Conference, the participants assembled in nine thematic
groups which were headed by the Judges of the Supreme Court and co-chaired by the
Judges of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justices of High Courts. The foreign
delegates also participated in all the groups with great enthusiasm and came up with
sound recommendations. After discussion, each group formulated recommendations
which were presented in the concluding session by the Chairperson of the respective
group on the basis of which a declaration was drafted and presented in the concluding
session. The participants of the Conference unanimously adopted the same as a
Declaration of International Judicial Conference 2013 wherein it has been
recommended as under:
Role of Judiciary in Developing World.
That judiciary needs to be strengthened as an institution rather than placing a
wholehearted reliance upon the strength of a few individuals. A clearly defined and
structured exercise of suo moto jurisdiction needs to be evolved. That the judicial
system needs to be reformed in such a way that majority of the cases are decided in
district courts without prospects of endless appeals. That the judiciary should play an
active part in enforcing rule of law which is pivotal in the developing world to counter
corruption, infringement of fundamental rights and excesses of state functionaries. That
specialized judicial education should be imparted whereby judicial officers are trained in
technological advancements. That renewed efforts are required to inform and educate
people on their rights, which they can enforce through courts of law. The judiciary as a
whole should move towards computerization of the entire system so that the mischief
emanating from the current manual system may be suppressed. The judiciaries of the
developing world must assert themselves vigorously so that constitutional schemes and
intents are properly implemented for the betterment of the populations at large.
The Rule of Law and International Peace.
That the recognized international principles of rule of law should be implemented in letter and spirit. That mechanism should be evolved for dispute resolution amongst the states and it should be ensured that all states respect, secure and protect human rights irrespective of religion, ethnicity or nationality. That the Government of Pakistan should
initiate and take appropriate steps for revamping and updating of international rules for
upholding peace in the international community, particularly, international rules should
be devised to regulate and govern robotic and cyber warfare without encroaching upon
the sovereignty of states.
Terrorism and Money Laundering.
That the threat of Terrorism and Money Laundering transcends national boundaries of
civilized nations and affects the very fabric of any society at large and undermine the
rule of law. That Pakistan has incurred a heavy cost, both in terms of life and property,
while fulfilling its international obligations to counter terrorism being a responsible
member of the comity of nations, however, specific legal steps need to be taken to
address several areas of concerns, such as, strengthening of anti-terrorism laws,
capacity building of stakeholders responsible for prosecuting these offences, mutual
legal assistance with various countries for effective prosecution of trans-national
organized crimes, witness protection, collection of evidence and investigation, etc.
Public Interest Litigation; a tool to Protect Fundamental Rights.
That public interest litigation should be recognized as a valid and powerful tool of legal
empowerment for the underprivileged sections of society. That awareness needs to be
raised amongst the general public about remedies which have become available to
them on account of recent developments in this field of law. That public interest
litigation should be dealt with in a manner which also affirms the role of other judicial
forums. That the Supreme Court's jurisprudence on Article 184(3) of the Constitution be
systematically analyzed and crystallized on an ongoing basis. That further empirical
research needs to be conducted on public interest litigation in Pakistan in order to make
popular discourse more informed.
The Role of Judiciary in Consumer Protection.
That for the effective protection of consumer rights, equally comprehensive legislation
should be enacted across all the provinces with the establishment of Consumer
Protection Councils and Consumer Courts thereunder and the enactment of required
rules and regulations without further delay. That to improve access to justice, Courts
should be established at the sub-division level with straightforward procedure under the
consumer protection laws that encourage consumers to approach the court and remove
deficiencies in the statutes for recording of evidence and execution of decrees. That
disparities between different legislation should be removed and the jurisdiction of
Consumer Courts enhanced for greater efficacy.
Legal and Judicial Education.
That the judgment passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of Pakistan in Pakistan Bar
Council v. Federal Government (PLD 2007 Supreme Court 394) must be implemented in
letter and spirit by the Universities and Colleges of Law, all across Pakistan. There needs
to be an integrated legal education system following a uniform curriculum, including
optional modules with respect to developing areas of law. That the Federal and
Provincial Governments should allocate greater resources to the Universities. The
Judicial academies should prioritise research and publication and undertake Training
Needs Assessment (TNA) to ensure effective capacity building of future judges for better
dispensation of justice in the future.
Alternate Dispute Resolution.
That the Bench, the Bar and other stakeholders need training on ADR for which training programs should be devised by the Bar Councils in collaboration with the Law and Justice Commission, and the Pakistan Bar Council should introduce a course on ADR in the LL.B degree program. That an official institute of arbitrators be established so that persons from fields relevant to the matter in dispute are readily available. The "Lok Adalat" system as introduced and developed in India should be examined to see how it can be used for our mutual benefit and the ADR mechanisms already available in the Law should be highlighted and fully enforced. Groups VIII: Parental Child Abduction and Transnational Jurisdiction.
That in view of the significance of the issue of Parental Child Abduction as well as the
sensitivity and compassion is required. That when dealing with such cases a range of
social, moral and psychological issues must be considered in addition to legal concerns.
That in order to prevent parental child abduction final judgments of Family Courts
relatable to wrongful transnational movement of children should be enforced by
Immigration Agencies. That the concerned parties should be made aware about the
available pro bono and legal aid options within and outside Pakistan to provide relief to
aggrieved persons. Legal luminaries, jurists, and other specialists may strive to resolve
conflict of international laws pertaining transnational child abduction and reach a formal
consensus as to the "best interests" of the child among the various jurisdictions. That it
is necessary to carry out a pre-ratification consideration of all aspects of the Hague
Convention and possible reservations to ratification, as well as ensuring wide circulation
of the Pakistan-UK Protocol on Children Matters. That the achievements of the Malta
Process and the working party on mediation in family law be extended full support and
domestically specialist judges be appointed in family courts to deal with such matters.
That stakeholder may draft cybercrime bill for placing before the national assembly for immediate promulgation. That the government should urgently seek accession to Multilateral Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties including the convention on cybercrime to effectively combat cybercrime. The FIA's NRC should be institutionalized on a permanent basis and should only include qualified personnel with respect to investigation as well as prosecution of cybercrime. That abuse of cybercrime laws by conflating them with telecom offences and a disproportionate focus on telecom as opposed to true cybercrime which harms the public should cease. That capacity must be built in order to enable collection of digital evidence. That collection should be on-site as opposed to physical seizure and removal of equipment that negatively impacts rights of other users and continuity of legitimate business. That fundamental Rights need to be specially protected in light of the new and unique powers available to investigation agencies at all times ensuring independent judicial supervision. The Conference ended with the concluding speech by the Hon'ble Chief Justice of Pakistan appreciating the participants, especially the foreign dignitaries, for their enthusiastic participation in the Conference, particularly in the proceedings of the Working Sessions for formulation of recommendations of the Conference and a vote of thanks by the Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan. This press release can be downloaded from the website of the Law& Justice Commission of Pakistan i.e email@example.com Habib-ur-Rehman Sheikh
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