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Live coverage of judges’ speech against code of conduct: IHC CJ

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah on Saturday said live coverage of judges’ speech and its subsequent airing on broadcast media is against the code of conduct of the adjudicators.

During the certificate distribution ceremony of a six-day training course on “Leadership and management” for district and sessions judges held at the Federal Judicial Academy, Justice Minallah stopped mediapersons from live coverage of his speech and also asked them not to even record the speech for subsequent airing, saying it was against the code of conduct of superior judiciary judges.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court in November last year had politely refused to answer questions asked by mediapersons after delivering a keynote address on “Future of Pakistan” in the UK, saying it was against the ethical practice if a judge speaks to the media.

Justice Athar Minallah stops mediapersons from live coverage and recording of his speech at certificate distribution ceremony

Justice Athar Minallah distributed certificates as chief guest among 25 heads of the district judiciary from all over Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

In his address, he said leadership and management training was vital for promoting and ensuring rule of law.

“It is essential to be an effective leader so as to make an impact within your organisation.A single good leader can create an endless chain of social changes. First of all, a good leader always puts his or her house in order. District and sessions court judges are important leaders of judicial system because the district judiciary is an important tier of the administration of justice system.”

Justice Minallah also spoke about some of the important qualities of a good leader such as honesty, integrity, inspiring others, good communication and decision-making capabilities.

“For all leaders whether they belong to politics, judiciary, sports or any other discipline, the attributes of good leadership are the same. When a leader is honest, his honesty has the trickle-down effect. District and sessions judges as leaders must put in practice their leadership attributes to reform the district judiciary and ameliorate the plight of the litigant public who are the key stakeholders of the administration of justice system.”

Lamenting growing nepotism in society, he said: “The menace of nepotism has become a way of life in our society. As leaders, district and sessions court judges must play the desired role to combat nepotism which has permeated into the very fabric of society.”

The IHC CJ also highlighted issues related to petitioners and said after his maiden visit to the district courts Islamabad he realised the miseries of the citizens and was embarrassed to note that the courts gave relief to powerful while the cases of real stakeholders kept pending for decades.

“There is no proper sitting area for the litigants in the district courts of Islamabad and the district administration should take appropriate steps to provide proper facilities to the litigants who come to seek justice from the courts”, he added.

Security agencies have also warned of any untoward incident within the district courts and the administration must adopt measures to ensure safety and security of the courts premises, he added.

The training course was carried out through syndicate discussions, command tasks, presentations and conducted in a participatory process. The participants obtained an in-depth understanding of leadership and management for effective administration of justice system.

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