[JURIST] Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] on Sunday resumed his former position [press release] as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website]. Chaudhry was removed from the post [JURIST report] by then-president Pervez Musharraf following Musharraf's November 2007 declaration of emergency law [JURIST report]. Chaudhry began his new term by establishing several judicial panels for the court, but did not attend an unofficial celebration [Dawn report] of his reinstatement at the supreme court building. Supporters at the celebration and at Chaudhry's home cheered his return, saying that it renewed hopes of having an independent judiciary in the country. Chaudhry replaces [JURIST report] Abdul Hameed Dogar as Pakistan's chief justice, and both UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [press briefing; JURIST report] and members of the Pakistan lawyers' movement [JURIST report] have already praised his reinstatement.
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] last week announced that Chaudhry's reinstatement [JURIST report] was imminent and ordered government officials to release [Dawn report] anyone arrested during a second so-called "long march" [JURIST reports] held in part to call for Chaudhry's return. Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) [party website] had long actively campaigned [JURIST report] for Chaudhry's reinstatement, and Chaudhry maintained that he was still chief justice [JURIST report] under the Pakistani constitution [text] even after his ouster.