Law ministry

SCBA, Department of Justice clash over law reform

ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) said Thursday it had not been consulted on criminal law reform proposals, a claim strenuously denied by the Justice Department.

The ministry said in a statement that the reforms document has been sent to the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), all provincial bar councils, SCBA and all High Court Bar Associations for their input. , but received no response from any of these organizations. .

Earlier, SCBA President Ahsan Bhoon said in a statement that the “criminal law reforms” proposed by the Department of Justice without consulting stakeholders, especially the legal fraternity, would pose serious dangers to the existing criminal justice system.

Bhoon admitted that legislative reforms were needed but cautioned against a one-sided approach to such a sensitive issue. He stressed that the consultative process should always take priority in such matters of great public and judicial importance.

Hours later, the Justice Department denied SCBA’s request. “To say that lawyers, bars and bar councils have not been consulted is totally misleading. No infirmity in penal reforms has been pointed out in the so-called press release of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan,” he said.

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“The proposed reforms focus on quick and easy access to justice for vulnerable segments of society, including women and children. Those who oppose these reforms are not sincere with the people of Pakistan, especially the weaker segments of society,” the ministry added.

Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has called for the role of the judiciary and legal fraternity in implementing “criminal law and justice reforms”.

The initiative was a big step towards implementing the rule of law in letter and spirit, he said while briefing the delegations from the tehsil, district and city bars. high court of Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Mansehra, Havelian and Abbottabad reforms here.

Fawad assured the bar officials of the full cooperation of the government to resolve their issues as a matter of priority.

“The federal government is aware of their (lawyer) problems. Young lawyers will be provided with soft loans under the Kamyab Jawan program for the construction of their offices,” the minister said.