KARACHI: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Saturday said the role of the judiciary was getting vital with every passing day as the citizens were reposing confidence in the institution for the redress of their grievances.
“It is now up to the judges of superior as well as subordinate courts to acquaint themselves with a better knowledge of human society to resolve contemporary societal problems,” he said while delivering a key note address at the 1st Summit of the All Pakistan Judicial Academies in Karachi.
The summit was organized by Sindh High Court (SHC) in collaboration with the Sindh Judicial Academy. The summit was attended by the chief justices and judges of the high courts. “The Constitution protects judicial independence to promote the rule of law and judges are expected to administer the law fairly without fear and favour,” he said.
“At the same time, the tracheotomy of powers rests upon the recognition of the fact that concentration of absolute power in one individual or institution will result in exploitation and tyranny,” he pointed out. Chief Justice Iftikhar said that presently four judicial academies were operating in the country including that in Islamabad and three in three provinces while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would also soon have its own academy.
These academies were engaged with the task of imparting training and orientation in laws, judicial norms and etiquettes to the judges, he added. He said the Federal Judicial Academy was striving to impart pre-service as well as in-service judicial training to the judges for the improvement of the judicial system. Chief Justice Iftikhar hoped that the summit would provide an opportunity to critically examine the judicial institutions to make sure that they meet the present needs to resolve societal problems.
He maintained that the district judiciary was the first forum where litigating public interacts with the judicial system, therefore, these trial court judges were expected to listen patiently and act with full wisdom in their judgments. About the syllabus of the academies, Chief Justice Iftikhar said that these should be approved after due deliberation by the Board of Governors of the Federal Judicial Academy to bring uniformity in the system.
He said with new trends in jurisprudence, such as cyber crimes, environmental law, alternative dispute resolution, forensic science and criminology, local, national and international law, the judges needed to be educated in these fields during pre-service and in-service training from time to time. Highlighting the importance of information technology, he said the judges should be computer literate and judicial academies must specifically focus on imparting awareness about utilising information technology tools.
Earlier, he also appreciated the efforts of Chief Justice of SHC, Justice Mushir Alam for providing a platform for exchange of ideas by legal experts to cope with the demands of an efficient judicial system. In his brief remarks, the Director General of Sindh Judicial Academy, Justice (Retd) Saleem Akhtar said that since its establishment in 1993, the Academy has trained out 50 batches of judicial officers. He said the research oriented studies were lacking in our institutions and proposed that research centers may also be established in the judicial academies.