The Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday tasked committees for identifying reforms in legal education to report their findings to the court within seven weeks after the chief justice vowed to reform the standard of legal education in the country in less than two months.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu case at the SC Lahore registry regarding the quality of legal education in Pakistan.
The SC on Saturday had prohibited universities across the country from granting affiliation to new law colleges, and barred high courts and subordinate courts from issuing a stay order on the case.
The CJP had regretted that the institutions of the country were being weakened and stressed the need for competent lawyers instead of those who “sold paan during the day and practised law in the evening”.
In yesterday’s hearing, the SC had commissioned a committee, which was to be headed by lawmaker Hamid Khan, and directed it to identify reforms needed in universities imparting legal education.
On Sunday, the committee was told to submit its final report in seven weeks’ time, whereas committees operating at the provincial level were instructed to submit their findings to the central committee within five weeks.
The SC also ordered provincial chief secretaries to assist the committees formed in order to improve the quality of legal education in the country.
The court also formed a separate committee today comprising law teachers and directed them to compile a report on the reforms needed within six weeks.
“We need a high standard of legal education so that we produce good lawyers rather than clerks,” remarked CJP Nisar.
“Private law colleges can fill the vacuum in legal education but they should not approach this as a business,” he added.
The chief justice recalled: “I saw a picture last night; it said, ‘Pass your BA in one night’. This standard of education just won’t cut it.”
The case was adjourned for seven weeks.