Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Institutional Balance

By Yasser Latif Hamdani
Many eminent jurists and  legal minds have weighed in on the issue of the Supreme Court’s recent judgements, including the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) judgement and the subsequent painting of the prime minister prima facie as dishonest and in violation of his oath. There are, however, far simpler issues that a humble observer and student of political science and law may raise as to the recent goings on.
The first and foremost issue to my mind is the separation of powers and how the recent rulings of the Supreme Court of Pakistan have affected it.

Was Jinnah democratic? - III

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

In this final installment I propose to address the issue of Jinnah’s infamous pronouncement vis-à-vis Urdu.

It is important to draw a distinction here between state language/lingua franca and national language. The two are entirely distinct — the former is appurtenant to statehood and the latter is a cultural construct. Nowhere in any of his speeches on that fateful trip to East Pakistan did Jinnah refer to Urdu as the national language. He used the words state language and lingua franca interchangeably. More importantly, he repeatedly emphasised in the same speeches that East Pakistanis had every right to safeguard and protect the Bengali language and culture as the official language and culture of East Pakistan. The impression therefore that Jinnah was out to destroy the Bengali language and culture is erroneous.

Was Jinnah democratic ? II

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

The dismissal of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP, now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) government has long been cited as an example of an early streak of authoritarianism in Pakistan’s history. It is said much of Pakistan’s later crisis of democracy has its roots in this decision. This sound bite has been used by many critics of Jinnah as being one grave example of lack of statesmanship at a critical juncture. I have a different view and I will endeavour to explain why.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Letter Patents Appeal/ Intra Court Appeal, Interlocutory Orders and Original Civil Jurisdiction

1996 SCMR 1209 @ 1210
Feeling aggrieved thereby, the Petitioner filed Intra Court Appeal which was dismissed vide impugned order on the short ground of non maintainability. The High Court was of the view that Intra Court Appeal was not competent against an interim order passed by the learned single judge during the hearing of a constitution Petition.
2001 YLR 1239 @ 1240
S. 3 --- Intra Court Appeal --- Interim order passed in a constitutional Petition had been assailed in Intra Court Appeal which was not maintainable --- even otherwise the impugned order being in accordance with law Intra Court Appeal was dismissed accordingly.

Reimagining Islamic Principles in Pakistan

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

One of the first things that will strike a student of law is that the English common law tradition, which informs the legal systems of India and Pakistan, is at variance with the established Roman law that informed much of the non-English-speaking Western world. At the same time, common law has parallels with the classical tradition of Islamic law as it developed in and around Al Azhar at the beginning of the middle ages. Like English common law, the Islamic equivalent relies largely on precedent and the legal opinions of jurists. Ijtehad, that is, reinterpretation; Ijmah, that is, consensus; and Qiyas, that is, analogy, form the basis of an opinion or decision. The last of these is not unknown to those who have practiced law in common law jurisdictions.

Was Jinnah democratic ? - I

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

As a people we are incapable of assuming responsibility for our actions. How unfortunate is the man who is credited with founding of Pakistan, for time and again, blame is laid at his door for the mess we have made of this country.