Pakistan: ICJ high-level mission to examine the independence of the Judiciary since the Lawyers’ Movement

The ICJ announces the beginning of a six-day High-Level Mission to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to examine the role of the judiciary and the separation of powers in Pakistan.

The High-Level Mission is composed of Judge Stefan Trechsel (Chair) and Graham Leung. It will take place from September 7-8 and September 12-15, 2011.

The Mission seeks to examine the functioning of the judiciary by:

  1. interviewing and consulting with a broad range of actors in the judiciary and legal profession, Government, and civil society,
  2. visiting courts, bar associations and universities, and
  3. researching rule of law cases and controversies.

The ICJ seeks to investigate the impact of several recent emblematic cases which have attracted controversy at the Bar and have tested the notion of separation of powers and judicial independence.

The Mission plans to release preliminary findings and observations at the end of the trip with recommendations for addressing conflicts within the framework of rule of law and human rights. A final research and advocacy report will be prepared and disseminated after the Mission.

Mission Members

Judge Stefan Trechsel, Chair (Switzerland) has been an ad litem Judge at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia since April 2006. He is also a Professor emeritus of Criminal Law and Procedure at the University of Zurich.

Judge Trechsel was elected to the European Commission of Human Rights in 1975, later serving as its Vice-President (1987 to 1994) and President (1995 to 1999). He has also served as an independent expert of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe on the issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

Judge Trechsel was a member of the ICJ Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights. He has also acted as counsel for the United States of America before the International Court of Justicein the LaGrand Case (Germany vs. the United States of America). He has authored several books including Human Rights in Criminal Proceedings (OUP, 2005). Judge Trechsel obtained his law degree (1963) and PhD (1966) from the University of Bern.

Graham Leung (Fiji) is a former President of the Fiji Law Society and Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Fiji. He is a senior Vice President of Law Asia, a member of the Council of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and an executive of the International Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee. Mr Leung was recently appointed as the Director of International Commission of Jurist’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.


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