The IBAHRI report on Pakistan was released in September, thanks to funding from OSI, following a fact finding mission to Pakistan. The report states that a historical lack of true commitment to fundamental rights and the rule of law is hindering Pakistan’s ability to reintroduce judicial independence despite the reinstatement of the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The report followed the IBAHRI high-level delegation visit to the country in March, which held over 100 meetings with a range of stakeholders, including judges, lawyers, politicians and non-governmental organisations. This visit came as hundreds of lawyers were concluding the 'Long March' which called for the reinstatement of the Chief Justice and the restoration of the judiciary. The high-level, international delegation met with a number of stakeholders, including the Chief Justice, lawyers, judges, politicians, NGO representatives and other officials from across the country. Meetings were held in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi.
The report: A Long March to Justice: A report on judicial independence and integrity in Pakistan, outlines political interference; corruption; a lack of accountability; flawed judicial appointment procedures; shortcomings of court infrastructure; and a lack of training for legal professionals as major hindrances to justice and the rule of law. To redress these and other concerns the report makes 35 recommendations for change.
In the report following a fact finding visit to Pakistan, the IBAHRI called on General Pervez Musharraf to restore Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to the office of Chief Justice. The report concludes that the forcing from office of Mr Chaudhry, on 9 March 2007, was contrary to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and makes a number of key recommendations to the government.
The report was released in July 2007 and is entitled: The struggle to maintain an independent judiciary: a report on the attempt to remove the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
In 1997, the IBA undertook a mission to Pakistan to identify and report on various aspects of the rule of law and human rights issues arising from the operation of the legal system there. The mission held wide-ranging discussions with lawyers, judges, government officials, NGOs and the military.
Stemming from these talks, a conference entitled 'Access to Justice and Fundamental Rights' was held in Lahore in 1998. Issues addressed at the conference included judicial access; gender and justice; and terrorism.
The IBAHRI report following the fact finding mission was released in December 1998, entitled: Pakistan: The Rule of Law and Human Rights in the Legal System of Pakistan.
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