Friday, September 19, 2014

Pakistani State's Supreme Court Invalidates Appointments of State's Shariat Court Judges

The Supreme Court of the Pakistani state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has handed down a decision invalidating the procedures for appointing the jurisdiction's Shariat Court judges. In Mughal v. Azad Government of the State of  Jammu and Kashmir, (AKJ Sup. Ct., Aug. 25, 2014), the Court concluded that appointments to the Shariat Court since 1993 are void because the law did not provide for consultation with the relevant chief justices before Shariat Court judges are appointed, did not provide for removal of Shariat Court judges for misconduct or incapacity, and did not require appointment of at least one Islamic legal scholar to the court. In order to avoid the order creating a vacuum, the Supreme Court instructed the government to immediately appoint High Court judges as judges of the Shariat Court as well. Pakistan's Daily Times reports on the decision, which it says was released on Sept. 17.