Pakistan lawyers return to some lower courts after emergency boycott

[JURIST] Pakistani lawyers began returning to work in some of the country's lower courts Monday, one week after thousands of lawyers and law students protested against President Pervez Musharraf's proclamation of emergency rule [JURIST reports], suspension of the constitution and dismissal of the country's Supreme Court. Following a Pakistan Bar Council call [JURIST report] Friday, the lawyers agreed to return to work to ease a pre-existing backlog of cases exacerbated by last week's legal vacuum, but they still plan to rally for one hour each day and to strike every Thursday until the country's constitution is restored. Lawyers also plan to boycott the courts of those judges who have taken new oaths under Musharraf's Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) [text].

Lawyers in the provincial region of Balochistan continued a full boycott of the courts there on Monday. The Sindh High Court Bar Association announced Monday that a general ban on the courts in that province would continue throughout the week, and urged a boycott of judges who had taken PCO oaths. In Lahore, an advocate told JURIST that the normally-busy High Court compound there was "deserted" [JURIST comment] with "many plain clothed policemen and other military agents...roaming around." AP has more.



 

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