Law Society calls on Pakistani president to create independent judiciary

The Law Society is lobbying Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf to push for the independence of the country’s judiciary.

The intervention comes after the arrest and suspension of Pakistan’s top judge, chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on 9 March, which led to lawyers and judges boycotting the courts and more than 40 deaths.

Law Society president Fiona Woolf, in a letter dated 15 May, wrote that the society is “deeply concerned” over the arrest of Chaudhry and “events which have unfolded since”.

Woolf went on to say that Pakistan is bound by international law and urged Musharraf’s government to “recognise and adopt the need for an independent judiciary as an essential pillar of a society that contends it supports the principle of justice for all”.

She added: “In the light of these principles, the Law Society therefore urges you to reaffirm publicly the need for an independent judiciary in Pakistan, and to take steps to ensure that any proceedings against the chief justice are conducted in an open and transparent manner.”

The Law Society is awaiting a response.