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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Darwaish

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. Honest People says:

    Adalat ho gi ma kay jaisi

    Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is unique. His judges are his soldiers. The judiciary functions under his chain of command. Every judge is at his beck and call. His is the last word. He constitutes benches comprising of judges of his own choice. He decides cases against persons who were never a party to any case. He condemns them unheard and that too without notice. He has removed over 104 judges of superior judiciary without hearing them. He is of the view that the position of a judge is so honorific that he should not appear before his brother judges and therefore no hearing should be provided to him. He has repeatedly dubbed these 104 judges as PCO judges whereas none of these judges ever took an oath under the PCO while Chief Justice took PCO oath twice and also validated the PCO of General Musharaf in 2000. He issued contempt notices to his fellow judges and caused them to appear in court despite their elated positions. He can alter, violate or rewrite his own constitution. He can refuse to follow seniority principle in appointing a Supreme Court judge despite having held that all appointments in executive branch should be based on seniority. He condemns adhocism but has forced the appointment of an adhoc judge in the Supreme Court. He has condemned over 8000 persons including judges of superior courts, two high ranking law officers, a former attorney general and Chairman of NAB without providing all these persons with an opportunity of hearing in two recent judgments . In the judgment of 31st of July Chief Justice has relied on order dated 3rd of November 2007 of seven member bench. It is now established that no order was passed on 3rd of November 2007 by this so-called bench which in fact had never assembled. The Chief Justice has fabricated the said order. It is because of this reason that PCO judges who took oath on 3rd November 2007 are not being assigned any court work in violation of article 209 of the constitution by Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Justice of Lahore High Court for the last more than 8 months on the pretext of pending contempt proceedings. This act alone is causing a recurring loss of over 10 million per month to the national exchequer because these judges and their staff are getting full salary and perks but are not being made to work. The contempt proceedings are not being taken up since these are based on fictitious order of 3rd of November 2007 and further proceedings in this contempt case can bring to light the fraud committed by Chief Justice Iftikhar. Hats off to lawyers movement- May I ask Aitzaz, that, was he referring to his step mom when he said ” adalat ho gi ma kay jaisi “.

  2. DR.KAMRAN says:

    A FIRM BELIEF THAT OPEN DIALOUGUE LEADS TO AN INFORMED CONSENT IS A CLEAN AND THOUGHT PROVOKING MESSAGE.
    OPEN DIALOGUE MEANS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ISNT IT .
    I BELIEVE THAT EX-PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF WAS RIGHT TO SAY WHEN HE SAID AND I QUOTE ” EVERY REGION /COUNTRY HAS DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS AND HENCE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEMOCRACY FOR EACH REGION. ”

    WE NEED TO HAVE A CHECK, RE-CHECK AND COUNTER CHECK SYSTEM IN EACH AND EVERY INSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN. WE OUR POWER MANIAC KIND OF PEOPLE AND A PAKISTANI MENATALITY IS THAT OF A HUNGRY , EAGER AND ABUSIVE ONE I AM AFRAID.
    WHY AM I SAYING THAT IS BECAUSE OF THE EXPERIENCE THAT I HAVE NOW.
    THERE HAS BEEN A LOT SAID AND WRITTEN ABOUT OUR JUDICIARY AND ITS GOOD TO HAVE A FREE JUDICIARY BUT WHAT KIND OF FREE JUDICIARY ARE WE ASKING FOR ???
    A JUDICIARY WHICH CAN DO ANYTHING IT WANTS , RIGHT OR WRONG , GOOD OR BAD???
    OBVIOUSLY A FREE JUDICIARY FOR FAIR DECISIONS AND JUST SOCIETY BUT AS I SAID AND AS CJ ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN HIMSELF CONFESSED IN ONE OF HIS SPEECH WHEN HE SAID AND I QUOTE

    ” HUM/MAI JUDICIARY SEY BAD UNWANE KO KHATAM KAR K RAHOON GA ”
    NOW WHO IS GOING TO DECIDE AND PINPOINT THE CORRUPT ELEMENTS IN THE JUDICIARY AND IT WOULD BE A DISASTER TO THINK THAT OUR JUDICIARY IS ALL ANGELIC AND HONEST ONE AND IT IS EVIDENT FROM THE STATEMENT AND PROMISE AND REITERATION THAT CJ IFTIKHAR CHOUDHARY SAHAB HIMSELF HAS MADE BUT MOST OF THE TIMES I HAVE FELT JUDICIARY AS PLAYING A ROLE OF GOVERNMENT WITHIN A GOVERNMENT ??? I DONT KNOW WETHER OTHER FEEL LIKE THAT BUT FROM FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION POINT OF VIEW I THINK SOMETIMES THERE IS KIND OF TRANSGRESSION DISPLAYED BY OUR JUDICIARY WHICH IS COUTNER PRODUCTIVE AND REFLECTS ARISTROCRATIC APPROACH AND SUCH HAS BEEN THE MENTALITY OF A PAKISTANI UNFORTUNATELY.
    I MYSELF AM WORKING AS COORDINATOR HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION AND AM STRIVING FOR ITS UPHOLD AND ESTABLISHMENT AS AN EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION AND HAVE BEEN WORKING AS VOLUNTEER FOR THIS ORGANISATION( SO NO MONEY) AND WANT IT TO BE MORE INFLUENTIAL THAN AMNESTY INTERNATIONL AND HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION BT IT CANT BE REALISED WITHOUT NATIONAL SUPPORT .
    I SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION TO CJ ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN IFTIKHAR CHOUDHARY SAHAB A MONTH AGO REQUESTING SUOMOTTO ACTION AGAINST THE CORRUPT AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OF AN ADDITIONAL REGISTRAR HIGH COURT BENCH D.I.KHAN WITH EVIDENCE CLEAR AND CONCRETE BUT SO FAR NO SUO MOTTO ACTION HAS TAKEN PLACE . SO THIS LEAVES ME WITH AN ALARMING QUESTION WHO IS WITHOLDING MY APPLICATION FROM BEING FORWARDED TO THE CJ AND IF ITS ON THE DESK OF CJ AND HE HAS READ IT THEN WHY NO SUO MOTTO ACTION SO FAR . WELL IF ITS DISCRETIONARY POWERS THEN IN THIS CASE ITS GOING TO EMBOLDEN AND EMPOWER THE CORRUPT ELEMENTS IN THE JUDICIARY OF PAKISTAN AS POINTED OUT BY CJ SAHAB HIMSELF IN ONE OF HIS SPEECHES .
    NOW THE ALARMING QUESTION IS THAT WHAT ARE WE DOING ??? WHAT KIND OF JUDICIARY HAVE WE GOT ? WOULD WE BE ABLE TO GET JUSTICE AT ALL ?
    THERE ARE HUNDRED AND HUNDREDS OF CASES IN THE COURTS OF PAKISTAN WHICH ARE FABRICATED , CONCOCTED AND ABSOLUTELY FAKE AND BOGUS AND THEY ARE BEING ENTERTAINED BY OUR JUDICIARY BECAUSE OF A VARIETY OF REASONS AND ONE OF THEM MOST HENIOUS AND DISASTROUS ONE IS THAT THE CORRUPT ELEMENTS OF THE JUDICIARY HAVE THEIR INTERESTS IN SUCH CASES AND THEIR MATERIAL OR A VARIETY OF OTHER INTERESTS IS AT STAKE IN SUCH CASES.
    I WILL REALLY LIKE TO HAVE A PRUDENT DEBATE AND CONSTRUCTIVE ONE ON THIS TOPIC AND THIS SHOULD BE VIEWED AS SOMETHING FROM ” FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION POINT OF VIEW” .
    I BELIEVE THAT MOST OF OUR PROBLEMS STEMS FROM OUR MENTALITY WHICH IS CORRUPT .
    sincere regards Dr.Kamran ( Coordinator Health & Environmental Protection Pakistan International Human Rights Organisation Islambad Pakistan)

  3. razeen says:

    CJ Iftikhar CH A person who is awarded by USA Universtiy, how can he is favourable for Pakistan. he is a complicated Person and This Time America is behind him. USA financed socalled justice movemant. After 10 years Pakistani will said oh USA make tool us, as we said after afghan jihad. We Pakistani in need of a person who is a nationalist and favourable for the regional politics. CJ should face the Sumreme Judicial Council in 2o07, prove clean himself from all claimed charges.

  4. Muhammad Nazir says:

    Dear Mr. Chief Justice, As-Salaam-o-Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullah-e-Wabarakatuhu

    Respected Sir,
    We, the daily wages staff of CAA, are the essential part of CAA functional activity. As our job is on immediate bosses discretion, we are bound to put more effort than that of permanent staff. We are the backbone of this respectable authority and enjoying no facility (medical, leaves, house loan, allowances) and working about one third to one fourth salary and we have to work seven days a week.

    Sir, you know that multinational companies believe in human equality. You must not like the double standard for the people working with the same organization and with the same job description. I think it is the sevior example of human discrimination and sevior violation of human rights.

    We appeal for justice and have strong believe in your kind just personality, we are looking forward for your decision to permanent our jobs. We and our families will be highly obliged and we pray for your

  5. sardar ashraf says:

    Justice Chaudry’s son, Arsalan failed in the Intermediate Examination, his result was changed and he got admission in Bolan Medical College in gross violation of merit. Later Justice Chaudry coerced the Chief Minister and forcefully got inducted as an officer of grade 17 in the Health Department of Balouchistan Government on a non existing post.
    To please his beloved son who was not happy with his job as a doctor, Justice Chaudry used his influence to get him posted in FIA headquarters against a non existing post . DG FIA protested but the Ministry told him to keep quite lest the CJP gets annoyed.
    After a while when Doctor Arsalan was not happy serving at FIA, his father ordered the Ministry to send him for training at the Police Academy Sihala. On being told that training at Sihala was meant only for formally inducted police officers, the CJP got annoyed and conveyed to the authorities that orders of the CJP were final.
    After a few weeks in Sihala, Doctor Arsalan was ill legally posted to the Punjab Police. At Lahore he started wearing police uniform without having been inducted in the police and gave himself the rank of an SP. IG Punjab protested but was advised to keep quite. The IG was ordered to send Doctor Arsalan for a foreign course to Turkey on which a senior police officer after due selection was supposed to go.
    The CJP told the Ministry of Interior to induct Arsalan in Police. He was advised that rules did not allow induction of a grade 17 officer in the police without selection through the Federal Public Service Commission. On this the Chief Justice ordered ill legal promotion of his son to grade 18 with only five months of service where as this grade is earned after a mandatory 5 years of service. Thereafter, he told the establishment to transfer him to Police as he was no more in grade 17. The establishment division objected to the ill legal demand on which the Establishment Secretary was summoned by the CJP at residence in the middle of the night and warned not to obstruct.
    The CJP visited the PM at his residence , several times, often late at night, for waiver on rules to facilitate Arsalan’s induction in the police. On being told that the PM did not have authority, the CJP got very annoyed with the PM.
    The above facts are part of the evidence available on record.
    Besides favours to his son there are other serious charges of misconduct against Chaudry.
    Justice Chaudry is a beneficiary of the public outrage against an unpopular government which was ousted through the elections. The Supreme Court at that time too refused to investigate charges against a brother judge (for self serving purpose). Charges against Justice Dogar are serious and must be investigated, preferably, in camera, by a non political body. To ensure fair play this body should also look into favours of parental love of Justice Chaudry.
    An unbiased investigation could pave the way forward and free the nation from a hostage like situation that has been created by the judicial crisis since the last two years.

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