Faiz Isa 29th Chief Justice, sworn in, full court formed on Chief Justice powers case

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, a senior judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has taken the oath of office as the 29th Chief Justice of Pakistan. Alongside his appointment, several significant changes have been made to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and Judicial Commission (JC). Justice Aijaz ul Ahsan has become a member of the Supreme Judicial Council, and Justice Muneeb Akhtar has joined the Judicial Commission.

After taking the oath of office, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa presided over the first bench hearing in the Supreme Court. The full bench of the Supreme Court will hear a case related to the Practice and Procedure Act today. The Registrar of the Supreme Court, Jazila Islam, has issued the case list, and the hearing is scheduled for 9:00 AM.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s swearing-in ceremony introduced a new tradition. He took the oath in both English and Urdu languages. Additionally, with the special permission of President Dr. Arif Alvi, his wife, Begum Sarina Isa, was invited to the stage, marking a unique moment in the history of such ceremonies.

The ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, senior military officials, serving and retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, provincial governors and chief ministers, federal ministers, and other prominent figures.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa has taken over as the Chief Justice of Pakistan for approximately 13 months. He is set to retire from his position on October 25, 2024. His legal career spans over 27 years before he assumed the position of a judge. He served as the Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court and became an advocate of the Supreme Court in March 1998. He was directly appointed as the Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court on August 5, 2009, and later, on September 5, 2014, he took the oath as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa had maintained that he would not be part of any bench until a decision is made on the Practice and Procedure Act. Now, after his swearing-in ceremony, he has constituted the first bench to hear cases. The Supreme Court’s full bench will be hearing a case related to the Practice and Procedure Act today.

The recent changes in the appointment of judges and the process for judicial commissions were introduced through a new law passed during the tenure of the PTI government. According to this law, the formation of new benches and the decision on the appointment of judges will be decided by a committee consisting of the Chief Justice and two senior-most judges. This law also grants individuals the right to appeal against the decisions on their appointments.

The appointment of Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and the reconstitution of judicial bodies mark important developments in Pakistan’s legal landscape. His tenure as Chief Justice is expected to bring various legal issues to the forefront and shape the direction of the country’s judicial system.