Supreme Court of Pakistan

Supreme Court of Pakistan
عدالت عظمیٰ پاکستان
Emblem of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.svg
فاحكم بين الناس بالحق
So judge between the people in truth
Established14 August 1947; 71 years ago (1947-08-14)
(As Federal Court of India)
2 March 1956 (1956-03-02)
(In its modern form)
CountryPakistan Pakistan
Coordinates33°43′41″N 73°05′55″E / 33°43′41″N 73°05′55″E / 33.72806; 73.09861
Authorized byConstitution of Pakistan
Decisions are appealed toPresident of Pakistan for Clemency/Commutation of sentence
Judge term length65 years of
Chief Justice of Pakistan
CurrentlyAsif Saeed Khan Khosa
Since18 January 2019

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (Urdu: عدالت عظمیٰ پاکستان‎; Adālat-e-Uzma Pākistān) is the apex court in the judicial hierarchy of Pakistan.[1]

Established in accordance to the Part VII of the Constitution of Pakistan, it has ultimate and extensive appellate, original, and advisory jurisdictions on all courts (including the high courts, district, special and Shariat court), involving issues of laws and may act on the verdicts rendered on the cases in context in which it enjoys jurisdiction. In the court system of Pakistan, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of legal and constitutional disputes as well as final interpreter of constitutional law, and the highest court of appeal in Pakistan.

In its modern composition, the Supreme Court is incorporated of Chief Justice of Pakistan, sixteen justices and two ad-hoc who are confirmed to their appointment by the President upon their nominations from the Prime Minister's selection based on their merited qualifications. Once appointed, justices are expected to completed a designated term and then retire at 65 years old, unless their term is terminated through resignation or impeachment by the Supreme Judicial Council resulted in a presidential reference in regards to the misconduct of judge(s). In their discourse judgement, the justices are often categorized as having the conservative, textual, moderate, and liberal philosophies of law in their judicial interpretation of law and judgements.:1915[2]:436[3]

The Supreme Court has a permanent seat in Islamabad and meets at the Supreme Court Building at the Constitution Avenue.[4] The Pakistan Supreme Court has been blamed for endangering democracy in Pakistan [5][6]. It has justified military takeovers of the government and execuation of a former prime minister deposed by the military.[7]


In 1861, the British government in India enacted the Indian High Courts Act that created the high courts in all over the Indian subcontinent in various provinces while abolishing the supreme courts Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Lahore, and also the Panchayati system in autonomous presidencies.:234[8]

Until the enactment of the Government of India Act in 1935 that created the Federal Court, these new high courts had the distinctionary powers of being the highest Courts for all cases.:235–236[8] The Federal Court had wide range of jurisdictions to resolve disputes between the provinces, presidencies, and the British government of India, often hearing appeals against judgements of the High Courts.:44–50[9]

After the independence of Pakistan as an aftermath of British partition of India in 1947, the Federal Court was also partitioned between India and Pakistan as Justice Sir Harilal Kania became the first Chief Justice of India and Justice Sir Abdul Rashid becoming the first Chief Justice of Pakistan.:294[10]

While the tradition of British law culture continues to remain an integral part of the judiciary, the modern existence of the Supreme Court of Pakistan came when the first set of the Constitution of Pakistan was promulgated on 23 March 1956.:10–11[11]:24–26[12] The ratification of the Constitution of Pakistan reestablished the Supreme Court in 1956, replacing the name "Federal Court" to "Supreme Court", initially had its seat in Karachi where the Sindh High Court exists now.[4] In successive years, the Supreme Court was moved to Lahore High Court until the Supreme Court was permanently moved into its new building constructed in Islamabad in 1964.[4]

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