Tag Archives: lawyers
March 16, 2009: Chaudhry (center) surrounded by celebrating supporters
In the latest news from the South Asian continent, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has finally been reinstated to his bench (for the second time).Â To truly appreciate this news, we have to do a bit of a recap. Former Pakistani President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, first appointed Chaudhry to the bench in 2000. Until he was elevated to Chief Justice in 2005, Iftikhar Chaudhry did not seem to go out of his way to carve an independent path for the judiciary, usually voting with the majority; he even sat on the bench during the case that legitimized Musharraf’s military takeover. Regardless, when Chaudhry became the youngest ever Chief Justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, he really dug in his heels and started work that made him a “symbol of justice” in the eyes of many.
From creating a “separate human rights cell at the court” to forcing Pakistan’s intelligence agencies to admit they were holding people in secret custody, it’s very easy to say that Chaudhry quickly got on the wrong side of the government. In March 2007, Chaudhry was asked to step down but instead refused Musharraf’s reprimands and faced the charges — actions which propelled him to a hero status for thousands of lawyers, who stormed Lahore, Pakistan in protest. Thankfully, in July 2007, Chaudhry was reinstated.