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Justice Aalia Neelum Appointed First Female Chief Justice Of LHC

Justice Aalia Neelum Appointed First Female Chief Justice Of LHC

Justice Aalia Neelum has made history as the first woman appointed Chief Justice of Punjab’s top court. The Judicial Commission of Pakistan unanimously endorsed her elevation, extending her tenure until November 11, 2028.

The decision was finalized earlier this week following discussions, with both government representatives, the attorney general for Pakistan and the law minister, supporting Justice Neelum’s candidacy. Today, the oath-taking ceremony took place at the Governor’s House, presided over by Governor Punjab Sardar Saleem Haider Khan.

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Among the attendees were Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, judges, lawyers, and government officials.

Governor Haider Khan extended congratulations to Justice Neelum on her new position, which she acknowledged with gratitude along with CM Maryam.

The legal community has shown confidence that CJ Neelum will lead the Lahore High Court (LHC) with integrity, wisdom, and vision.

Beginning of Career

Justice Neelum has had an illustrious career spanning more than twenty years. She earned her L.L.B. degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore, in 1995, followed by a Master’s degree in Political Science from the same institution. Additionally, she holds diplomas in Sharia Law, Advanced Sharia Law from the Islamic University of Islamabad, Intellectual Property Rights from the University of the Punjab, and a Bachelor of Education degree.

Beginning her legal career in 1996 with the Punjab Bar Council, Justice Neelum quickly established herself in Constitutional Law, White-Collar Crime, Civil and Criminal Law, Anti-Terrorism laws, and Banking Laws. She was enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2008.

Her outstanding performance led to her appointment as an Additional Judge of the Lahore High Court in 2013, later confirmed as a Judge in 2015. Throughout her tenure, she has authored 203 reported judgments covering diverse legal issues. Justice Neelum has served as the Inspection Judge for multiple districts and as the Monitoring/Administrative Judge for various special courts and tribunals, including as the first female Administrative Judge of Anti-Terrorism Courts in Punjab.

Advocating strongly for gender equality and women’s empowerment, she has been instrumental in establishing Gender-Based Violence Courts and has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights. Her efforts in law development and gender equality advocacy have earned widespread respect and admiration.

Justice Neelum has actively participated in international conferences, enhancing her expertise in intellectual property rights, criminal justice, legal literacy for women, and global collaboration among women judges. She played a pivotal role in developing the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) for evidence recording in E-Courts in Punjab, implemented across all trial courts in the province to enhance trial process efficiency and transparency.