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Judicial System of Pakistan

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Judicial System of Pakistan

The Judicial System of Pakistan by Dr Faqir Hussain Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Revised 15th February 2011

General

The roots of the current judicial system of Pakistan stretch back to the medieval period and even before. The judicial system that we practice today has evolved over a long period of time, spanning roughly over a whole millennium. The system has passed through several epochs covering the Hindu era, Muslim period including the Mughal dynasty, British colonial period and post-independence period. Notwithstanding the successive changes i.e. one rule/dynasty substituted by the other, which naturally resulted in the socio-economic and political transformation of the Indian society, the judicial system generally maintained a steady growth and gradual advance towards consolidation and improvement/refinement, without indeed, having to undergo any major disruption or substantial change. All in all, the system experienced and passed through 3 distinct stages of historical development, namely, Hindu Kingdom, Muslim Rule and British Colonial administration. The 4th and current era, commenced with the partition of India and the establishment of Pakistan as a sovereign and independent State. The system, thus, has evolved through a process of reform and development. This conclusion enjoys near unanimity among historians and commentators of Indian legal history. During this process of evolution and growth, the judicial system did receive influences and inspirations from foreign doctrines/notions and indigenous norms/practices, both in terms of organising courts’ structure and hierarchy, and adopting procedures/practices in reaching decisions. Therefore, the present judicial system is not an entirely foreign transplant, as is commonly alleged, but has acquired an indigenous flavour and national colour. And whereas the system may not fully suit the genius of our people or meet the local conditions, its continued application and practice has made it intelligible to the common man. The very fact that increasing number of people are making resort to the courts for the resolution of their conflicts/disputes, indicates that the system enjoys a degree of legitimacy and acceptance.

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