Justice Qazi Faez Isa takes oath as 29th Chief Justice of Pakistan

Islamabad: On Sunday, Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa assumed the role of the 29th Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) following the retirement of his predecessor, Umar Ata Bandial, a day earlier.

At a ceremony held at the President House in Islamabad, President Dr. Arif Alvi administered the oath. The event was attended by top government and military officials, including caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Army Chief Asim Munir, senators, and foreign ambassadors.

Justice Isa’s tenure as the country’s chief justice will be relatively brief, as he is scheduled to retire from the position on October 25, 2024.

Justice Isa took the oath as a judge of the apex court on September 5, 2014. However, he had not been assigned any constitutional cases for the past three years due to a presidential reference filed against him in 2019.

Born on October 26, 1959, in Quetta, Justice Isa is the son of the late Qazi Mohammad Isa, a prominent leader in the Pakistan Movement and a close associate of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

After completing his initial education in Quetta, Justice Isa pursued O and A levels studies at the Karachi Grammar School. He then furthered his education in law in London, where he completed the bar professional examination at the Inns of Court School of Law.

Justice Isa’s legal career began when he joined the Balochistan High Court on January 30, 1985. He became an advocate of the Supreme Court in March 1998. During the emergency declared during the Pervez Musharraf era on November 3, 2007, Justice Isa chose not to appear before judges who took the oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO). Following the annulment of the November 3 decision by the Supreme Court, Justice Isa was directly appointed as a judge of the provincial high court on August 5, 2009, while other Balochistan High Court judges resigned.

Before his appointment as a judge in the Balochistan High Court and later the Supreme Court, Justice Isa was actively involved in the field of law for 27 years. He was sought after for his expertise in various important cases by different high courts and the Supreme Court, as well as for handling international arbitrations.

In the past five months, Justice Isa, who took the oath as an SC judge on September 5, 2014, limited his work to chamber work as a form of protest due to his disagreement with the chief justice on suo motu powers. He abstained from participating in any cases during this time.

In March of the same year, Justice Isa, along with Justice Qazi Ameenuddin, issued a ruling stating that the hearing of all cases under Article 184(3) should be suspended until the apex court establishes rules regarding the SC’s Practice and Procedure Act.

With a legal career spanning 45 years, Justice Isa boasts a rich background. Before his judicial appointment, he contributed articles on various topics, including the Constitution, law, Islam, and the environment, to leading English news publications in Pakistan. He also co-authored a book titled ‘Mass Media Laws and Regulations in Pakistan’ in 1997. Additionally, he authored the report ‘Balochistan: Case and Demand,’ which was published by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) in 2007.

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