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Judicial Structure of Pakistan

By: Mrs. Najmunnisa Siddiqui

What is Justice?

: the maintenance or administration of what is

just, especially by the impartial adjustment of
conflicting claims or the assignment of merited
rewards or punishments .
Conformity to truth and reality in expressing
opinions and in conduct;
fair representation of facts respecting merit or
Fidelity (faithfulness to loyalty);
as, the justice of a description or of a

Judicial System

Noun.judicial system - the

system of law courts that
administer justice and constitute
the judicial branch of government.

Purpose of Judicial System

The purpose of the legal system is

to provide a system for interpreting
and enforcing the laws.
The purpose of a legal system is to
provide a systematic, orderly, and
predictable mechanism for resolving

Functions of Judicial System

In order to do its job, any such system

must perform three closely connected,
but nevertheless distinct, functions:
adjudication( Arbitration, negotiation),
and execution.

Judicial Function

The judicial function is the core of

any legal system. In its judicial
function, a legal system adjudicates
disputes, issuing a decision as to
how the disagreement should be

Legislative Function

The purpose of the legislative

function is to determine the rules
that will govern the process of
Legislation tells judicial function
how to adjudicate.

Executive Function

Finally, the purpose of the executive function is to

ensure, first, that the disputing parties submit to
adjudication in the first place, and second, that they
actually comply with the settlement eventually
reached through the judicial process. In its
executive function the legal system may rely on
coercive force, voluntary social sanctions, or some
combination of the two.
The executive function gives a legal system its
"teeth," providing incentives for peaceful behavior;
both domestic law enforcement and national
defense fall under the executive function.


Pakistan's judicial system stems directly from the

system that was used in British India as on
independence in 1947, the Government of India Act
1935 was retained as a provisional Constitution.
As a consequence, the legal and judicial system of
the British period continued, of course, with due
adaptations and modifications, where necessary, to
suit the requirements of the new Republic.

Pakistan is an Islamic republic.

Islam is the state religion, and the
Constitution requires that laws be
consistent with Islam

Judicial Structure of Pakistan


Supreme Court of Pakistan

1 Chief justice +
16 permanent
judges+2 ad-hoc

Appointment of Supreme Court Judges

The Supreme Court is at the apex of the judicial

systems of Pakistan.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan is appointed by
the President. Other Judges are also appointed
by the President after consultation with the
Chief Justice.
A person is eligible to be appointed as a Judge
of the Supreme Court if he is a citizen of
Pakistan and has been a Judge of a High Court
for five years or an advocate of a High Court for
fifteen years.
The Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme
Court hold office until the age of sixty-five.

Functions of Supreme Court

It is the Court of ultimate appeal and

therefore final arbiter of law and the
Constitution. Its decisions are binding on all
other courts .
The Supreme Court has the explicit power to
block the exercise of certain Presidential
reserve powers. For example, under Article
58, the President may dismiss the National
Assembly (triggering new elections) but the
dismissal is subject to Supreme Court

The Court also has the power to overturn presidential

orders and parliamentary legislation by declaring such
orders or laws to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court is also a custodian and upholder of
citizens rights, liberties and freedoms. The Court has
been given a very significant role of protecting the
Fundamental Rights of citizens. For this purpose under
article 184(3), the Supreme Court is empowered to take
action, if it considers that a question of public importance
with reference to enforcement of any of the Fundamental
Rights conferred by the Constitution is involved.

Federal Shariyat Court

The Court consists of 8 Muslim Judges including

the Chief Justice.
Such Judges are appointed by the President from
amongst the serving or retired Judges of the
Supreme Court or a High Court or from amongst
persons possessing the qualifications of a Judge of
the High Court.
Of the 8 Judges, 3 are required to be Ulema who
are well versed in Islamic law.
The Judges hold office for a period of 3 years and
the President may further extend such period. [42]


The Court, on its own motion or through petition

by a citizen or a government (Federal or
provincial), may examine and determine as to
whether or not a certain provision of law is
repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam.
Appeal against its decision lies to the Shariat
Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court, consisting
of 3 Muslim Judges of the Supreme Court and not
more than 2 Ulema, appointed by the President.

High Court

Structure: There is a High Court in each

province. Each High Court consists of a Chief
Justice and other puisne judges.
Appointment: The Chief Justice is appointed
by the President in consultation with the Chief
Justice of Pakistan and other judges, in
consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan,
Governor of the Province and the Chief Justice
of the concerned High Court. [33]


The Court exercises original

jurisdiction in the enforcement of
Fundamental Rights and appellate
jurisdiction in judgments/orders of
the subordinate courts in civil and
criminal matters.

A High Court has, under the Constitution, original

jurisdiction to make an order:(i) directing a person within the territorial jurisdiction of the
Court to refrain from doing anything he is not permitted by
law or to do anything he is required by law.
(ii) declaring that any act done by a person without lawful
authority is of no legal effect; or
(iii) directing that a person in custody be brought before it,
so that the court may satisfy itself that he is not being held
(iv) giving such directions to any person or authority, for the
enforcement of any of the

A High Court has the power to withdraw any civil or criminal

case from a trial court and try it itself.
Appellate Jurisdiction.- A High Court has extensive appellate
jurisdiction against the judgments, decisions, decrees and
sentences passed by the civil and criminal courts.
General.- A High Court has the power to make rules
regulating its practice and procedure and of courts
subordinate to it.
Each High Court supervises and controls all courts
subordinate to it and any decision of a High Court binds all
courts subordinate to it.

Sindh High Court

1 Chief Justice+27

Sindh High Court

Punjab High Court

1 Chief Justice+
49 Judges

Balochistan High Court

1 Chief Justice+ 8

NWFP High Court

1 Chief Justice+
49 Judges

Subordinate Judiciary

They are present all the district of a province. It deals civil

material only. The civil courts consist of District Judge,
Additional District Judge and Civil Judge Class I, II & III.


This court is located in the district of each province. This

court has power to change criminal to death punishment. ,
the criminal courts comprise of Session Judge, Additional
Session Judge and Judicial Magistrate Class I, II & III.

Alternative Courts/Legal System

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Biradry System/Panchayat
Nizam e Adal Law (for Malakand
and Sawat People)


An assembly or council, which is more

familiar tribal areas of Pakistan. It is the
gathering of people in the tribes of Baloch
and Pathan where the leader and the head
of the tribe decided the problem of the

Jirga is the word which is taken from the

language of Persian and its meaning is
decision, meeting, gathering or union.

The jirga system has no uniform structure,

varying from tribe to tribe, and community to
This can be found throughout Pakistan.
Essentially, there are different appellations to
this system but the ethics and the rulings are
the same.
With the onset of the decentralization process
in Pakistan, the decisions of the jirgas are now
coming through the official authorities, from
the DCOs and who are facilitating and
conducting jirgas.

The reason the jigra system continues to

survive is predominantly due to the strong
feudal system present in Pakistan.
There were attempts to abolish this system but
no political party has been able to break its
strength since the main ruling class continues
to be feudal.
In many areas, politicians are supporters of
such a system.

Importance of Justice in Life