With his retirement at midnight on Friday, Chief Justice Khosa must be congratulated for a long and illustrious career in the judiciary. The 26th Chief Justice of the country has left behind a legacy that will not be forgotten.

His efforts in introducing modern techniques to record witness testimony, discouraging the practice of consistent adjournments in criminal cases and the support offered to model courts in providing swift justice to citizens has made the judiciary a stronger institution than before. His role as an administrator of the judiciary stands testament to his commitment to improving the judicial process in the whole country.

But of course, his learned judgements within the court and written judgements released from cases under his care are equally meaningful. They have clarified the role of the judiciary in terms of the powers the institution possesses not only as arbiter, but also to intellectually interpret the law for greater clarity.

Justice Khosa sat in as judge in some of the most significant cases in recent history; from the contempt of court case for former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani to the Mumtaz Qadri proceedings. But perhaps some of his more recent words – in the dissenting note of the Panama Papers case – will be the ones that stand out.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed will be sworn in as the new CJ today, and his own career as a prominent judge of the Supreme Court has been no less noteworthy. His input as part of the Panama case bench and countless other cases makes his ascendancy to the post all the more welcome. The suo moto proceedings in Karachi and his speech about treating corruption seriously at the full court reference for Justice Khosa’s farewell are perhaps indicative of how he intends to preside over the judiciary as the CJ.

The 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court steps into the role at a time of great tension. With recent events such as lawyers attacking the Punjab Institute of Cardiology and the controversial language of the special court that made headlines across the world; the legal fraternity needs guidance from the new head of the highest court of the country. Both the nation and the state machinery will need his wisdom to establish order and move towards unifying vital organs of the state.