Islamabad supreme court faces deadline for the appointment of new judges

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has set today as a deadline for the appointment of 16 vacancies in tribunals and

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Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File Photo

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has set today as a deadline for the appointment of 16 vacancies in tribunals and special judgeships across the capital.

The move comes after the IHC requested that Prime Minister Imran Khan approve new rules proposed by the country’s Ministry of Law and Justice to streamline the appointment of new judges. Among other provisions, the new rules would allow the process of appointing a new judge to begin 90 days before the formal date of appointment.

These stipulations are intended to strengthen the rule of law in a country that has struggled to maintain the independence of its judiciary. Pakistan’s higher courts have long been unprotected from the advances and ambitions of the Pakistani military.

Beyond approval of the new rules, a growing rift between Khan and his military backers may see the judiciary carry a new, mediating weight in Pakistani politics. Khan’s influence in the country continues to dwindle due to a slowing economy, high consumer prices and corruption investigations involving his close aids. Should a battle for political control between the civilian and military factions materialise, expect the judiciary to assume a more assertive role.

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