Pakistan’s apex court has first female judge


Web Desk
Justice Ayesha Malik on Monday took her oath as a Supreme Court judge and formally became the country’s first-ever female judge to reach the apex court in Pakistan.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed administered the oath to Justice Malik in a ceremony held at the ceremonial hall of the Supreme Court in the capital, Islamabad.
In a brief interaction with reporters after the oath-taking ceremony, the chief justice said that Justice Malik was competent enough to become a Supreme Court judge and that no one else but her deserved credit for her elevation.
The top judge was then asked if Justice Malik was considered for elevation to the top court for being a woman or her standing as a judge.
To this, he replied: “Woman”.
The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) had earlier this month approved Justice Malik for elevation by a majority of five to four during a heated session that had lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours.
The JCP held another meeting afterwards to decide on Justice Malik’s elevation. A lack of consensus during an extended meeting of the JCP on Sept 9 last year had forced the commission to reject her elevation.
Justice Malik completed her early education from schools in Paris and New York and then completed her senior Cambridge from the Karachi Grammar School.
She studied law at the Pakistan College of Law in Lahore and went on to do her LLB from the Harvard Law School Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, where she was named a London H Gammon fellow 1998-1999.
From 2001 to the date of her elevation as a high court judge, she worked with the law firm of Rizvi, Isa, Afridi and Angell, first as a senior associate and then a partner in charge of the firm’s Lahore office.
Justice Malik has appeared as a pro-bono counsel for several NGOs working on poverty alleviation, microfinance and skills-training programmes.
She is also author of a number of publications and has taught banking law at University of the Punjab and mercantile law at the College of Accounting and Management Sciences Karachi.


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