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Pakistan: Justice Aalia Takes Oath As First Woman Chief Justice Of Lahore High Court

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Justice Aalia Neelum's oath-taking ceremony was held at the Punjab Governor House. (Screengrab)

Justice Aalia Neelum’s oath-taking ceremony was held at the Punjab Governor House. (Screengrab)

The oath-taking ceremony will be held at Punjab Governor House

Justice Aalia Neelum took oath Thursday as the first woman Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) in a landmark judicial appointment in Muslim-majority Pakistan. The oath-taking ceremony was held at Punjab Governor House in the presence of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz.

This comes after Pakistan’s judicial commission unanimously approved her promotion after reviewing nominations from three judges for the Lahore High Court chief justice position, the Dawn newspaper reported. On Wednesday, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari issued a notification appointing Justice Neelum as LHC Chief Justice.

“President Asif Ali Zardari has approved the appointment of Acting Chief Justice of Sindh High Court, Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui, as Chief Justice of Sindh High Court and Justice Alia Neelam, Judge of Lahore High Court, as Chief Justice of Lahore High Court. The President approved the appointments under Article 175A (13) of the Constitution,” Zardari’s office said in a post on ‘X’ on Wednesday.

Who Is Justice Aalia?

She has had a distinguished legal career spanning over two decades. She obtained her LLB from the University of the Punjab in 1995, followed by a Master’s degree in Political Science from the same institution, The Express Tribune newspaper reported. She holds diplomas in Sharia Law and Advanced Sharia Law from the Islamic University of Islamabad, as well as in Intellectual Property Rights from the University of the Punjab.

Beginning her legal practice in 1996 as an advocate with the Punjab Bar Council, Justice Neelum quickly established expertise in Constitutional Law, White-Collar Crime, Civil, Criminal, Anti-Terrorism laws, and Banking Laws. She became an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2008. Her exceptional work led to her appointment as an Additional Judge of the Lahore High Court in 2013, and she was confirmed as a Judge in 2015.

Justice Neelum has authored 203 reported judgments covering several legal issues. She has served as Inspection Judge for multiple districts and as the Monitoring/Administrative Judge for various special courts and tribunals, including as the first female Administrative Judge of Anti-Terrorism Courts in Punjab. Throughout her career, Justice Neelum has been a staunch advocate for gender equality in the country.



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