ISLAMABAD, Sep 23 (APP): In observance of 75 years of Pakistan’s independence, a two-day 9th International Judicial Conference was held on Friday at the Supreme Court, here, with the aim of reflecting on the past and looking towards the future.

The conference was attended by members of the Judiciary, including the Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Acting Chief Justice and Judges of the Federal Shariat Court, Acting Chief Judge of the Supreme Appellate Court, Gilgit-Baltistan, Chief Justice of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Justices of the respective High Courts, eminent judges of the District Judiciary, Additional Attorney General for Pakistan, Law Minister, Advocate-Generals of the provinces, ambassadors and dignitaries, law officers, and lawyers from Pakistan and abroad alike, said the press release issued by Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan.

Saad Rasool, acting as the Master of Ceremonies welcomed the guests to the Inaugural Session.

Mrs. Riffat Inam Butt, the Secretary of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan welcomed the participants and commented on the role of the Law and Justice Commission in maintaining the rule of law.

A documentary prepared by PTV tracing the 75 years of the history of the Pakistan’s Judiciary was also displayed.

Meanwhile, the session was chaired by the Chief Justice and the discussion focused on the role of the Judiciary in maintaining rule of law and upholding the supremacy of the Constitution.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial spoke about the landmark judgments of the Supreme Court pronouncing fundamental rights, upholding democracy, the importance of climate change and protecting the environment, and also of protecting the marginalized.

He said the challenges ahead are many, including the rapidly growing population, water scarcity and climate change. He also emphasized on the fact that the courts alone can no longer be the sole arbiters of dispute resolution, and that it is time now that other organs of the state play their part.

He apprised the participants about the steps taken by the judiciary in keeping pace with the influx of litigation, to ensure speedy and inexpensive justice as per the Constitution, and relying on digitalization of the court systems using ADR, video-link facilities and ensuring better case management.

The Chief Justice concluded by emphasizing that everyone has a role to play in upholding the Constitution and maintaining the rule of law, and that they must all ensure their commitment.

Justice Amin-Ud-Din Khan of the Supreme Court, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Conference, also gave an overview of the Conference and elaborated on the theme of the Conference.

He stressed that justice is not confined to what happens in the courtroom, rather justice is ensured beyond the courtroom and therefore, the judiciary alone can not shoulder the entire blame for interpretations made beyond the court’s doors.

The panel for the First Session of the Conference included the Acting Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court, Justice Dr. Syed Muhammad Anwar, the Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Appellate Court, GB, Justice Wazir Shakil Ahmed and Chief Justice of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Raja Saeed Akram Khan, Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court, Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Balochistan, Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, and the Additional Attorney General, Ch. Aamir Rahman.

The Judges stressed on the duty of a judge to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, while emphasizing that it is not the judiciary alone that has a role to play. The executive, and other stakeholders must play their part moving forward, with an emphasis on ensuring progress in the administration of justice.

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