ISLAMABAD    -  Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed yesterday said that a judge should exhibit apposite judicial character such as integrity, uprightness, firmness, courtesy, patience, open-mindedness, understanding, compassion and humility.

He added that a judge must have a capacity to analyze the facts of the cases, ability to understand new legal concepts and socio-economic and political issues, and apply laws accordingly.

The Chief Justice expressed these views while addressing the Full Court Reference held on the eve of retirement of Justice Faisal Arab here.

Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan, Chairman Executive Committee, Pakistan Bar Council, Azam Nazir Tarar and President Supreme Court Bar Association Syed Qalb e Hassan Shah also spoke on the occasion.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that a judge should be aware of and follow the personal and professional ethics while he should also have courage to do what the law requires of him to do without being influenced by the race, creed or gender of the parties before it.

He said that the great philosopher ‘Socrates’ described the essential qualities of a good judge, which are, “to hear courteously; to answer wisely; to consider soberly; and to decide impartially.” These words are as true today as they were more than 2,400 years ago.

Paying tribute to Justice Faisal, the Chief Justice said that he possessed all those qualities and traits. He was a combination of courtesy, wisdom, soberness, impartiality and uprightness. He always heard the counsel with patience, tolerance and open-mindedness. He had great aptitude to understand complex legal issues and to apply laws in an appropriate manner. He always showed courage to do whatever is mandated by the Constitution and the law, and never got influenced by any person or circumstance.

Regarding the Bench and the Bar relationship, the CJP said that the Bench and the Bar are the two pillars of the edifice of justice delivery system. It is necessary for the smooth functioning of the system of administration of justice that there exist amiable and congenial relationship between the Bench and the Bar.

On the occasion, AGP Khalid Jawed said, “Today it may be hard to appreciate what it was like on the night of November 3, 2007, and the days following that eventful dark night. Never before in our history had any constitutional subversion or deviation been reversed.”

He said that it then seemed like a fait accompli with little hope for comeback of judges save through an oath affirming the subversion of the Constitution. Yet there were many men of character who simply refused to entertain the possibility of betrayal of their constitutional oath. While many of those great judges have since retired, some including Justice Faisal Arab still adorn the bench.

The others include Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. I must immediately add that all other present judges of the Supreme Court were elevated in or after the year 2009, when the constitutional subversion was reversed through the historic lawyers’ movement.

The AGP said that in an act of poetic justice which rarely comes but came in life of Justice Faisal Arab when the very person responsible for constitutional subversion stood accused before a Special Court presided by none other than Justice Faisal Arab. Yet there was never any moment during those proceedings when even a semblance of revenge or vengeance crossed his lordship’s mind.

He said that Justice Faisal conducted the trial in a fair and impartial manner. Indeed some critics thought that he was too fair to the man who had tormented him and his brother judges. Yet that is the hallmark of a fair and unbiased mind. Justice even for those who never accord it to their victims. Such is the character of the person whom we bid farewell today.