Judges Must Be Individually, Institutionally Independent: Justice Minallah

Supreme Court's judge says without independent-minded judges, the independence of the judiciary cannot become a reality

Judges Must Be Individually, Institutionally Independent: Justice Minallah

Supreme Court's Justice Athar Minallah has emphasised the need for independent judges, observing that judges must individually and institutionally be independent. 

"We must nurture and nourish independent-minded judges; judges with the right mindset can ensure judicial independence," said Justice Minallah as he handed out certificates during a ceremony at the Federal Judicial Academy at the conclusion of a two-week Federal Judicial Education Programme (FJEP).

"A judge should be independent. A judge should always be conscious of the fact that he/she is not subordinate to anyone," he said, adding, "A judge should always follow the law and not be influenced by anyone."

"Only an independent-minded judge can ensure the right to a fair trial, and only an independent judiciary can enjoy the confidence and trust of the public," he said.

This is why, he said, it was important to train judges in such a manner as they become independent-minded judges.

"Judges must be individually and institutionally independent. Without independent-minded judges, the independence of judiciary cannot become a reality."

Justice Minallah said that Imam Abu Hanifa's code of conduct for judges could revolutionise our judiciary. He advised judges to go through and act upon the code of conduct. 

Commenting on the content of the training, Justice Minallah said: "For me, the most impressive part of the training is a wise selection of subjects such as crypto-currency and artificial intelligence, among others, which are the need of the hour."

Justice Minallah awarded certificates to 30 Additional District and Sessions Judges and 30 Senior Civil Judges who had completed the course. He appreciated Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Advisor to the FJA, and his team. 

Earlier, FJA Director General Hayat Ali Shah said that despite the lack of resources, under the leadership of Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, they had accomplished a few set goals within a brief span of time and strived ahead for the attainment of others on the roadmap.

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist working with The Friday Times. He tweets @SabihUlHussnain