The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Saqib Nisar, seems to be dominating the news cycle these days. Not only do his sweeping actions and constantly expanding suo moto notices make the news, the reactions to those stories drive cycles of their own. This lends itself to a variety of circumstances. Politicians are free to cherry pick instances which support their narrative and take to the podium to propagate them, while columnists and media men are given ample material to analyse and dissect on a daily basis. What results is a cacophony of opinions and stances, which make any objective analysis of the situation near impossible, with most people going with the stance the favours their pre-conceived biases as it is.

Despite this fact, one element of the state has remained consistent in its stance on the CJP’s activism, and that is the legal fraternity itself. Across provincial and municipal bar councils, the legal fraternity has stood firm in its opposition of judicial overarch and has voiced their apprehensions time and again. Individual lawyers and jurists may present their own opinions, but as a national fraternity the stance is monolithic.

The Sindh Bar Council has become the latest to join the band of detractors. While they generally lauded the Supreme Court’s setting up a human rights cell at its provincial registry to ensure an easier access to justice to vulnerable segments of society. However, they suggested that a proper mechanism should be adopted to ensure timely redress of public grievances; with the vice president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Fareed Ahmed Dayo, adding that here was a perception that the judiciary was overstepping from its domain, which he said was not good for the apex court.

These constant reminders by the legal fraternity should inform the CJP and the SC that for the community itself, a reform of the judicial system is more important than rectifying disparate, isolated wrongs.