Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez on Sunday took oath as the 29th chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) after his predecessor Umar Ata Bandial hung up his robes a day earlier.
President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath at a ceremony held at the President House in Islamabad. Top government and military officials, including caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Army Chief General Asim Munir, senators and foreign ambassadors, attended the ceremony.
Justice Isa’s tenure as the country’s chief justice, however, will be quite brief, as he is set to retire from the position on October 25, 2024.
He took oath as the apex court’s judge on September 5, 2014. Despite being the senior puisne judge, he was not assigned any constitutional case for the past three years, following a presidential reference filed against him in 2019.
The newly-appointed top judge of the country was born on October 26, 1959, in Quetta. His father, the late Qazi Mohammad Isa, was a prominent leader in the Pakistan Movement and a close associate of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
After completing his initial education in Quetta, Justice Isa pursued O and A levels studies from the Karachi Grammar School. He then moved to London to pursue his higher education in law to complete the bar professional examination at the Inns of Court School of Law.
He joined the Balochistan High Court on January 30, 1985, and became an advocate of the Supreme Court in March 1998. After an emergency was declared during the Pervez Musharraf era on November 3, 2007, Justice Isa decided not to appear before judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO).
At the same time, after the decision of November 3 was annulled by the Supreme Court, the Balochistan High Court judges resigned, while Justice Isa was directly appointed as the judge of the provincial high court on August 5, 2009.
He remained associated with the field of law for 27 years before being appointed as a judge in the Balochistan High Court and the Supreme Court. During this time, his assistance was sought in various important cases by different high courts and the Supreme Court, as well as for handling international arbitrations.
For the past five months, Justice Isa — who took the oath as an SC judge on September 5, 2014 — has engaged in chamber work only. As a form of protest following his disagreement with chief justice on suo motu powers, he has refrained from participating in any cases.
In March this year, Justice Isa and Justice Qazi Ameenuddin issued a ruling, stating that hearing of all cases under Article 184(3) should be suspended until the apex court first makes its rules with regard to the SC’s Practice and Procedure Act.
With a 45-year-long career in the legal field, Justice Isa possesses a rich background. Prior to his judicial appointment, he contributed articles on various topics, such as the Constitution, law, Islam, and the environment, to Pakistan’s leading English news publications.
He also co-authored a book, ‘Mass Media Laws and Regulations in Pakistan’, in 1997. Additionally, Justice Isa authored the report ‘Balochistan: Case and Demand’ published by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) in 2007.