Decoding Pakistan’s Supreme Court Review Legislation

Web DeskAugust 11, 2023
Decoding Pakistan's Supreme Court Review Legislation

The recent enactment of the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act marks a significant expansion of the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. Passed earlier this year, this Act introduces key changes aimed at empowering the court to address matters of public importance concerning the enforcement of fundamental rights. One of the pivotal amendments is the provision of a right to appeal under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, a clause that grants the Supreme Court the authority to issue orders when it deems a question of public significance related to fundamental rights enforcement.

The Act encompasses a total of seven essential clauses, each designed to refine the review process within the Supreme Court. One critical aspect is the alignment of the scope of review on both factual and legal grounds with the principles outlined in Article 185, which pertains to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. This ensures consistency in the review process, promoting fairness and justice.

Read more : The Supreme Court declares the review of judgements law unconstitutional

Additionally, the Act introduces provisions that enhance the effectiveness of the review process. It mandates that a review petition be heard by a bench different from the one that issued the original judgment or order. This separation of roles helps maintain impartiality and offers a fresh perspective on the matter being reviewed.

The Act also grants review petitioners the right to select any advocate of their choice from the Supreme Court for representation, ensuring that the interests of the parties involved are adequately protected. Moreover, the Act extends the right to file a review petition to those aggrieved individuals who faced orders under clause (3) of Article 184 of the Constitution before the Act’s commencement.

Petition Review Timeline :

The Act establishes a clear timeline for review petitions, requiring them to be filed within 60 days of the issuance of the original order. This provision adds efficiency and streamlines the review process while maintaining a balance between expediency and the need for thorough examination.

Override other laws : 

Finally, the Act boldly asserts its primacy, stipulating that its provisions prevail over any conflicting laws, rules, regulations, or judgments of other courts, including the Supreme Court and High Courts. This declaration ensures that the Act’s intentions and guidelines hold precedence, underscoring the importance of a consistent and unified approach to reviewing judgments and orders within the Supreme Court.

In summary, the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act introduces vital reforms to the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, providing a more robust framework for addressing matters of public importance related to fundamental rights enforcement. Its various clauses, from the right to appeal under Article 184(3) to the selection of advocates and the establishment of clear timelines, collectively aim to enhance the review process while affirming the Act’s overriding authority.

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