Who is Justice Qazi Faez Isa?

In a significant shift within the judiciary, Justice Qazi Faez Isa is set to be sworn in as the 29th Chief Justice of Pakistan today. The official ceremony will occur at the President’s House, with President Dr. Arif Alvi administering the oath at 11 a.m.

This transition comes after the departure of the outgoing Chief Justice, Umar Ata Bandial, who recently vacated his official residence in Islamabad’s Judges Colony. Bandial served as Chief Justice for over 19 months, starting from February 2, 2022.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s tenure as Chief Justice will last for more than a year, concluding on October 25, 2024. His journey to this esteemed position began when he was initially appointed as a Supreme Court judge on September 5, 2014.

Justice Isa is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court after the outgoing CJP, Umar Ata Bandial. Notably, he will be the second Chief Justice from Balochistan, following Iftikhar Chaudhary.

He has gained widespread recognition for his significant involvement in presiding over crucial cases during his tenure, including the Memogate Commission, the Quetta Tragedy Inquiry Commission, and the Faizabad Dharna Decision.

Justice Isa is set to retire from his position as Chief Justice of Pakistan after a 13-month tenure on October 25, 2024.

Born on October 26, 1959, in Quetta, Justice Isa hails from a family with a deep-rooted connection to Pakistan’s establishment, as his father, Qazi Muhammad Isa, was a prominent figure in the movement for Pakistan’s creation and a close associate of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Justice Isa received his primary education in Quetta and pursued his A and O levels at Karachi Grammar School. He then ventured to London to study law and completed the bar professional examination.

He commenced his legal career by becoming a registered advocate in the Balochistan High Court (BHC) on January 30, 1985, and later achieved the status of an advocate of the Supreme Court in March 1998.

For over 27 years, he practiced law in both the BHC and the SC before being appointed as the Chief Justice of the BHC in 2009. He served as the Chief Justice of the high court from 2009 to 2014, subsequently earning elevation to the Supreme Court in 2014.

Notably, during the state of emergency declared on November 3, 2007, Justice Isa made a principled decision not to appear before judges he believed had violated their oath. During the same period, the apex court nullified the decision made on November 3, and the then-judges of the BHC resigned in protest.

Fast-forward to August 5, 2009, Justice Isa assumed the position of judge and later became the Chief Justice of the BHC. On September 5, 2014, he took the oath as a jurist of the Supreme Court.

In recent times, Justice Isa has garnered attention for his protest against the non-implementation of the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act, which was enacted during the Shahbaz Sharif era. As a form of protest, he has refrained from hearing any cases for the past five months and has chosen to work in his chambers instead.

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