Friday, April 14, 2017

Supreme Court Bar Association sues to overturn Pakistan's 23rd Amendment

The Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan has filed a constitutional petition seeking to overturn the recently-enacted 23rd Amendment, which revives military courts for another two years. According to this account,
The association prayed that the instant petition be graciously accepted and the Constitution (21st Amendment) Act, 2017, (Act XII of 2017) and Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Act II of 2017) be declared invalid for violating the basic structure and salient features of the constitution as well as fundamental rights. 
It has also been appealed that since the said amendment effectively abrogated the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan guaranteed under the Constitution, the same then should not remain a part of the Constitution of Pakistan. 
The petition further states that the Supreme Court (SC) held that validating the military courts under the 21st Amendment was an exception because of the war on terrorism. 
However, an exception, if repeated, would assume the character of a rule rather than an exception. For this reason as well, the 23rd Amendment is liable to be declared invalid. 
The SCBA said it is concerned about the certain provision being introduced and amended through the constitutional amendment which could undermine the independence of the judiciary.
Other petitions can be expected. Global Military Justice Reform will follow the litigation. Please comment if you are aware of any case documents that become available online, and provide links. Thank you. 

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