Home Latest News Justice Qazi Faez Isa Takes Oath as Pakistan’s 29th Chief Justice

Justice Qazi Faez Isa Takes Oath as Pakistan’s 29th Chief Justice

Justice Isa succeeds former CJP Bandial and will be in office for roughly 13 months

by Staff Report

Screengrab of CJP Qazi Faez Isa’s oath-taking

Justice Qazi Faez of the Supreme Court on Sunday took oath as the 29th chief justice of Pakistan (CJP), succeeding Umar Ata Bandial, who retired a day earlier.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath of office to the new CJP during a ceremony at the President’s House in Islamabad that was attended by top government and military officials, including caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar and Army chief Gen. Asim Munir. CJP Isa would now serve as the top judge of the apex court until his superannuation, Oct. 25, 2024, or roughly 13 months.

Justice Isa took oath as a judge of the Supreme Court on Sept. 5, 2014. Born on Oct. 26, 1959, in Quetta, he is the long of the late Qazi Mohammad Isa, a prominent leader in the Pakistan Movement and a close associate of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After completing his initial education in the Balochistan capital, Justice Isa secured his O- and A-levels from the Karachi Grammar School before moving to London to pursue higher education in law.

Upon his return to Pakistan, he acted as a lawyer for 27 years and joined the Balochistan High Court as an advocate in 1985. He subsequently became an advocate of the Supreme Court in March 1998. He was among the lawyers who refused to appear before any judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) after Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared an emergency on Nov. 3, 2007. Following the annulment of the emergency declaration and resignation of judges appointed during it, Isa was appointed as a judge of the Balochistan High Court on Aug. 5, 2009.

Prior to his elevation as a judge, Justice Isa was a regular contributor to various daily publications on various matters related to law, including the Constitution, Islam, and the environment. He also co-authored a book, Mass Media Laws and Regulations in Pakistan, in 1997.

Justice Isa has been a source of controversy for the past 5 years, having presided over a judgment on the Faizabad dharna that attracted the ire of the military establishment and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government. President Alvi, acting on advice of then-prime minister Imran Khan, filed a reference against Isa and his family alleging misconduct and non-disclosure of foreign assets. Following this, several judges ruled that Justice Isa could not preside over cases related to the PTI chief. For the past five months, Justice Isa has only performed chamber work to protest the former CJP’s heavy-handed rulings on legislations passed by Parliament.

Various political leaders have congratulated Qazi Faez Isa on his appointment as the top judge. Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the CJP on his new responsibilities, stressing dispensation of justice required abiding by the Constitution, law and rules of business. In a statement, he said the public were awaiting the delivery of justice and hoped the appointment would add to the credibility and reputation of Pakistan’s judiciary.

In a separate statement, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf congratulated CJP Isa, describing him as “a seasoned and the most experienced legal expert.” He hoped that the judiciary “under his [Isa] sagacious leadership” would dispense justice while upholding the Constitution and law.

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman, meanwhile, hailed CJP Isa for having his wife stand beside him during his oath-taking. “Good to see Justice Qazi Faez Issa ask his wife to also stand with him for his oath-taking. Sends out an important message re: women and partnerships and equality,” she said.

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