Judicial Commission Rules Review Committee Finalises Draft Rules

The revised draft of rules will be put before the Judicial Commission for final approval on the amendments

Judicial Commission Rules Review Committee Finalises Draft Rules

A committee to review and revise rules for the Judicial Commission of Pakistan - including the process to appoint new judges - has finalised a revised draft of the rules after incorporating input from women judges and judges from the lower judiciary, which will now be presented to the Judicial Commission for review and final approval before implementation.

The review and drafting process was completed during the second meeting of the rule-making committee on Friday, read a handout issued after the meeting. The committee, which was constituted to review the Judicial Commission of Pakistan Rules 2010, met with Supreme Court's Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice (retired) Manzoor Ahmed Malik, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in the chair. 
The committee finalised the draft rules of procedure for the commission to appoint judges of constitutional courts in the country while complying with the collegial and inclusive decision-making process enshrined in Article 175-A of the Constitution.

The draft rules cover the following areas for amendments in the 2010 Rules:

Process for convening meetings of the commission and making decisions therein.

Initiation of nomination(s) [for judges] in the Supreme Court; 

Initiation of nomination(s) [for judges] in the High Courts; 

Adequate representation of the district judiciary and the Bar for elevation.

Criteria for selection of candidates to be appointed as judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts; 

Confirmation of Additional Judges in the High Courts; and 

Establishment of a secretariat of the commission, appointing a secretary and other staff thereto.

The committee said it had received valuable and insightful suggestions and recommendations from its co-opted members, including  Supreme Court's Justice Ayesha A. Malik, and Justice Musarrat Hilali, Sindh High Court's Justice Kausar Sultana Hussain, Islamabad High Court's Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, Punjab District and Sessions's retired judge Mahrukh Aziz, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's former District and Sessions Judge (retired) Hayat Ali Shah, Sindh's former District and Sessions judge (retired) Imdad Hussain Khoso, Balochistan's former District and Sessions judge (retired) Rashid Mehmood, Advocate in Supreme Court Hina Jilani, International Commission of Jurists' Legal Advisor Reema Omer, and Public Sector Governance Expert Rafiullah Kakar.

The committee said it has incorporated the suggestions and recommendations it had received from the co-opted members. It added that the committee will also seek input from Justice Aalia Neelum of the Lahore High Court (LHC), whose name inadvertently remained unmentioned.

The handout said that the committee deliberated upon Friday's second revised draft of the proposed rules. After threadbare discussions, it approved the draft with a few amendments. 

The approved draft rules will now be placed before the judicial commission at its next meeting for finalisation.

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