Judicial Activism and Its Implications for Good Governance: A Case for Judicial Reforms in Pakistan
Keywords:Judicial Activism, Good Governance, Judicial Reforms, Supreme Court of Pakistan
Judicial activism plays an important role in shaping various countries' political contexts with different political systems and regime types. Academic literature and debates are divided among various groups in favour and against judicial activism. This work reviews range of available data to probe case of judicial activism in Pakistan from 2005 to 2013. Judicial activism in Pakistan seemed to be short-lived and selective in nature. The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) exercised activism without limits in cases against representative parliamentarians who were already constrained in many matters by other unconstitutional powers. No doubt, it reviewed various malpractices of the executive in the domain of public policy and governance, which enhanced its legitimacy and popularity. A vibrant media further contributed to the Court's popularity. But the transgression of institutional boundaries by the apex court for 'pious' objectives failed to introduce judicial reforms and eradication of corruption in the lower judiciary. Selectivity in the SCP activism was visible in its limitation to implement some of its verdicts against ex-military officers. This paper discusses these contradictions within the activism by the higher judiciary in Pakistan, and suggests various recommendations in the latter part of the paper.
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