Mr. Ravi Pinjani's Profile
Ravi Pinjani is a Barrister by profession, Member of Gray’s Inn (London) with practice rights in the High Courts of Pakistan and the state of New York. He is the Managing Partner of the Law Firm M/s Hussain & Haider in Karachi.
He has also been closely connected to the legal academia. To this end, he was first Lecturer of and thereafter Assistant Professor of Jurisprudence and Legal Theory at the SZABIST Law School, Karachi for the period 2006 to May 2015.
He is a Fulbright scholar and attended Columbia University, where in recognition of his academic achievements, he was awarded the Justice Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar Award. He has previously also received the Cavendish Prize from the University of London for the year 2004-5.
A notable publication to his credit is a research-article titled State Violence and the Pakistan Polity, published in Asia Journal 2011 – State Violence and Human Rights in Asia (ISBN 978-89-94128-16-0 93300).
History of Judiciary in Pakistan
I propose to present a brief overview of the History of Judiciary in Pakistan and seek to highlight how lawyers, in particular those with privileged experiences of being Fulbright alumni can become agents to bring about a liberal change in Pakistan.
In the brief presentation, I propose to take the audience through the chequered constitutional history of Pakistan with several Martial laws and how the judiciary responded each time. Beginning from the first decade of Pakistan when Constituent Assembly (the organ enshrined with the duty and power to make the Constitution of Pakistan) was dissolved to the ushering in of Ayub Khan’s era, followed by the dismemberment of Pakistan with the creation of Bangladesh. During these first three decades alone, the country was created, its Constituent Assembly was dissolved with judiciary’s acquiescence; two Constitutions were brought into effect, and each was then abrogated again it seems with the judiciary’s approval; Bangladesh was created out of Pakistan, a new Constitution was agreed upon and it was again suspended. The Judiciary on each occasion acted with complicity and demonstrated weakness.
Since the Lawyer’s Movement, there is reason to believe that there is room for change in this relationship. However, setting up of the Military Courts under the 21st Constitutional Amendment and it being upheld by the Supreme Court may suggest otherwise.