A Review on Judicial Activism in Pakistan

11 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2018 Last revised: 21 Feb 2018

Date Written: February 19, 2018


Judicial activism is a broader term used to define the process of judicial review i.e. a constitutional power vested with the superior courts to adjudicate on the constitutionality of a law, statute, administrative action, constitutional provision or an amendment. The power of judicial review is exercised worldwide by the superior courts as it is a strong legal tool in the hands of the judiciary to make ineffective all extra-constitutional acts and policies of the administrative, executive and legislative authorities. Likewise, the Supreme Court of Pakistan is also exercising this power though more frequently now-a-days to check the arbitrariness of various state/government actions and policies. Although this practice is not new in Pakistan, it dates back to famous Maulvi Tameezuddin Case 1953 till present day Panama Leaks Case, but this term gained significant attention since 2007 especially due to the active role of the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary and lawyers’ movement. Supreme Court judges are often criticized for intervening in government policies and nullify them on various accounts. Critics say that the Supreme Court is intermeddling in the affairs of the State by travelling beyond its jurisdictional domain thus damaging democratic values. This research paper will be presenting a brief history of judicial activism in Pakistan since its inception and on the question as to whether judicial activism on the part of the apex court i.e. the Supreme Court of Pakistan has historically contributed in improving the role of executive and protecting democracy or served as a facilitator to the military regimes by giving verdicts on the basis of doctrine of necessity.

Keywords: Democracy, Doctrine of Necessity

Suggested Citation

Shamim, Syed Jazib, A Review on Judicial Activism in Pakistan (February 19, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3126641 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3126641

Syed Jazib Shamim (Contact Author)

University of Karachi ( email )

University of Karachi, Karachi 75220
Karachi, Pakistan

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