Media Release: The Australian Bar Calls for the Return of the Rule of Law in Pakistan
The Australian Bar Association yesterday joined with the leaders of the Bars of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland in calling for the return of the Rule of Law in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The President-Elect of the Australian Bar Association, Mr Tom Bathurst QC said “The suspension of the Constitution, the interference with the
independence of the judiciary and the legal profession and the denial of
fundamental rights strike at the very heart of a fair and just society.”
“The dismissal and detention of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is of
particular concern to the Australian Bar” he said. It is understood that
60% of Pakistan’s appellate court is currently under house arrest and
thousands of lawyers have been imprisoned, some in solitary
confinement. “It is a deplorable situation that cannot be allowed to
continue” Mr Bathurst said. He noted that “People are being imprisoned,
denied their fundamental rights for doing no more than during their duty
to the Constitution, ensuring the maintenance of the rule of law and the
securing an independent voice for the people of Pakistan”.
The Australian Bar Association called on the Commonwealth
Government to use its best endeavours to ensure that diplomatic pressure
was maintained on the military regime to respect the rule of law and to
honour the promise of an overdue return to democratic rule in Pakistan.
Australian Bar Association
3 December, 2007