Justice Qazi Faez Isa has officially assumed the role of the new Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) in a ceremony held at the Presidency in Islamabad. The oath of office was administered by President Arif Alvi, with the presence of caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on the stage alongside them. During this significant moment, Justice Isa’s wife, Sarina, stood beside him as he took the oath of office as the new CJP.
The ceremony was attended by prominent figures, including high-ranking government and military officials, such as army chief Gen Syed Asim Munir, federal ministers, senators, foreign ambassadors, former chief justices of the country, and other dignitaries, who witnessed this historic event.
This transition follows the departure of the outgoing Chief Justice, Umar Ata Bandial, who recently vacated his official residence in the Judges Colony in Islamabad. Bandial had served in the highest judicial office for a tenure of over 19 months, having been appointed on February 2, 2022.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa is set to serve as Chief Justice of Pakistan for over a year, concluding his term on October 25, 2024. His journey to this esteemed position began when he was initially sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on September 5, 2014.
Justice Isa holds the distinction of being the senior-most judge of the top court after outgoing CJP Umar Ata Bandial. Notably, he will be the second CJP from Balochistan, following in the footsteps of Iftikhar Chaudhary.
He has garnered widespread recognition for his pivotal role in presiding over significant cases during his tenure. Some of his noteworthy judgments include his involvement with the Memogate Commission, the Quetta Tragedy Inquiry Commission, and the Faizabad Dharna Decision.
Justice Isa’s term as Chief Justice of Pakistan spans 13 months, with his retirement set for October 25, 2024.
Born on October 26, 1959, in Quetta, Justice Isa comes from a family with a rich history of involvement in the movement for the establishment of Pakistan. His father, Qazi Muhammad Isa, was a close associate of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Justice Isa completed his primary education in Quetta and pursued his A and O levels at Karachi Grammar School. He then went on to study law in London, where he successfully completed the bar professional examination.
His legal career began with registration as an advocate in the Balochistan High Court (BHC) on January 30, 1985, and later becoming an advocate of the Supreme Court in March 1998. He practiced law in the BHC and the SC for over 27 years before assuming the position of Chief Justice of the BHC in 2009.
During a period marked by the declaration of a state of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007, Justice Isa demonstrated principled leadership by choosing not to appear before judges whom he believed had violated their oath. During this same period, the apex court nullified the decision made on November 3, leading to the resignation of the then-judges of the BHC in protest.
On August 5, 2009, Justice Isa took on the role of judge and later Chief Justice of the BHC. Subsequently, on September 5, 2014, he was sworn in as a jurist of the Supreme Court.
Recent attention has been drawn to Justice Isa’s protest against the non-implementation of the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act, which was established during the Shehbaz Sharif era. In protest, he has refrained from hearing any cases for the past five months, opting to work in his chambers instead.