The Ministry of Law and Justice has officially notified the appointment of Justice Umar Ata Bandial as the next Chief Justice of Pakistan.
“In exercising the powers conferred by Clause (3) of Section 175-A read together with Section 177 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President is pleased to appoint Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice the most senior of the Supreme Court, as Chief Justice of Pakistan with effect from 02.02.2022,” the notification reads on Monday.
He added that Justice Bandial – who will be Pakistan’s 28th Chief Justice – will take up his new post on February 2. The statement further states that the notification was issued after President Arif Alvi’s approval.
Sitting CJP Judge Gulzar Ahmed is expected to retire on February 1, after which Judge Bandial will assume his new role.
Justice Gulzar was sworn in as the country’s Supreme Justice on December 21, 2019, replacing Justice Saqib Nisar.
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Judge Bandial, 63, will take over the post for a period of nearly 19 months, until September 16, 2023.
At the end of his term, the judge will be replaced by judge Qazi Faez Isa.
A copy of the notification available from The Express Tribune
Judge Umar Ata Bandial was born on September 17, 1958 in Lahore. He did his primary and secondary education in different schools in Kohat, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Lahore.
He received his BA (Economics) from Columbia University, USA, followed by a law degree from Cambridge University, UK, and qualified as a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn , in London. In 1983.
Judge Bandial attended a seminar on international criminal law in The Hague (2012), the Commonwealth Regional Consultative Meeting on the Judicial Service Commission Model Law in Kuala Lumpur (2015); and the 13th Conference of Presidents of Supreme Courts of SCO Member States in Beijing (2018).
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He taught contract law and tort law at the Punjab University Law College, Lahore until 1987 and remained a member of its graduate studies committee while serving as a judge at the LHC.
The judge was listed as an LHC barrister and a few years later as a barrister for the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
In his law firm in Lahore, Judge Bandial mainly dealt with commercial, banking, tax and real estate matters. From 1993 until his elevation, he handled international commercial litigation. He has appeared in arbitration cases before the SCP and also before international arbitral tribunals in London and Paris.
He was elevated to the position of Judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on 4 December 2004. He refused to be sworn in under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in November 2007, but was reinstated as LHC judge following the movement of lawyers and civil society for the revival of the judicial and constitutional order in the country.
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Later, he served for two years as Chief Judge of the LHC until his elevation to the post of Judge of the SCP in June 2014.
During his career as a judge at the LHC and the SCP, Judge Bandial rendered judgments on a number of important public and private law issues. These included statements on civil and commercial litigation, constitutional rights, and matters of public interest.
In August last year, Justice Bandial was sworn in as Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan in the absence of Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed who was not in the country at the time.
It may be noted here that Judge Bandial headed the largest bench of 10 judges that heard Judge Isa’s constitutional petition against the presidential reference regarding his dismissal. The reference was canceled for bad faith on June 19. She had called for the removal of Judge Isa in view of his failure to mention the London properties of his family members in his declaration of assets.