Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary to receive Harvard Law School Medal of Freedom

Posted on November 13, 2007
Filed Under >Darwaish, Law & Justice, People, Politics
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While Pakistanis are protesting against the Martial Law (or so called Emergency) and attack on judiciary, the Harvard Law School has announced Medal of Freedom for Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary. I first heard the news on Geo and couldn’t believe if it were really true but later HLS website has also confirmed this news. Medal of Freedom is the highest honor of Harvard Law School and is awarded to individuals who have worked to uphold the legal system’s fundamental commitment to freedom, justice, and equality.

According to Harvard Law School’s Dean Elena Kagan, this award has been conferred to assure the solidarity of Harvard Law School with Justice iftikhar Chaudhary and Pakistan’s valiant lawyers in their heroic struggle. The previous recipients of this prestigious award include people like former South African President Nelson Mandela. I also found it pleasantly surprising that HLS have have NOT used word former Chief Justice for Justice Iftikhar even though our own Pakistani media is calling him former Chief Justice of Pakistan.

According to Harvard Law School website:

Following last week’s military crackdown in Pakistan and the detention of hundreds of lawyers, the Harvard Law School Association has decided to award Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry its highest honor: The Harvard Law School Medal of Freedom. Chaudhry was detained after he convened the Pakistani Supreme Court to declare the current state of emergency imposed by General Pervez Musharraf to be null and void.

Although Chaudhry has been placed under house arrest and is not free to leave Pakistan, Dean Elena Kagan has reached out to the chief justice regarding the award and hopes that he’ll be able to come to the Law School to receive it when the state of emergency is lifted.

“As lawyers who value freedom and the rule of law, we at Harvard Law School want Chief Justice Chaudhry and all of the courageous lawyers in Pakistan to know that we stand with them in solidarity,” said Kagan. “We are proud to be their colleagues in the cause of justice, and we will do all we can to press for the prompt restoration of constitutionalism and legality in Pakistan.”

Hundreds of lawyers and other critics of Musharraf have been detained since the emergency rule was established more than a week ago. HLS graduates and practicing lawyers in Pakistan Babar Sattar LL.M. ’02 and Tariq Hassan LL.M. ’76 S.J.D. ’80 have spoken out in protest of the suspension of the constitution.

To raise awareness and further promote discussion about the events in Pakistan, the Harvard South Asia Initiative will be hosting campus-wide events on Friday, November 16.

The Medal of Freedom was established by Harvard Law School to honor the achievements of individuals who have worked to uphold the legal system’s fundamental commitment to freedom, justice, and equality. To symbolize this commitment, the award bears the image of Charles Hamilton Houston, whose leadership of the crusade that culminated in the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education exemplifies the highest ideals of our democracy.

Past recipients of the Medal of Freedom include the members of the Brown v. Board of Education litigation team and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

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Isn’t it amazing that just one word NO, which Chief Justice said to Gen Musharraf on March 09 when he tried to remove him, has changed the course of history. Since then, Justice Iftikhar has probably become one of the most popular man in Pakistan and Gen. Musharraf the most unpopular man. I wonder if Gen. Musharraf would release him from detention and allow him to collect this prestigious award. Pakistani are not honored by world’s top institutes like HLS everyday.

72 responses to “Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary to receive Harvard Law School Medal of Freedom”

  1. Being lawyer from the province which gave birth to imminent person likejustice iftikhar muhammad choudhary,proud for all us,and the one who enlightened the name of this country throughout world, well known by his pranciples and believed on rule of law as well as tried his best to enable every common person to get justice without facing any hardships.I believe this country would never born alike CJP iIftikhar Muhammad choudhary in future and we all appreciate this brave man who never bow his head before any illegal force and tried to uproot the corruption in shape of cancer for roots of this country and proved himself to be a priceless person.we should proud of him.

  2. It is very astonishing for me if i/we count the minor faults or allegation leveled against CJP Ifthekhar Muhammad Choudary,but this fact can not be ignored that what CJP has bestowed to people who have been deprived of justice which are their basic rights and have be ignored since existance of pakistan,i believe he is the one who has extra ordinary talent which are very much rare among common human being,disposal of number of cases in short span of time and provide the justice door to door was dream for common person which converted it into reality,undoubetly a person alike him can not come again in future for this country .however, my words can not define the CJP,in sequel,being lawyer i salute this person which no country can make and born in centuries and we should be proud of him.

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