UNITED STATES - Former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, in his acceptance speech after receiving the 2023 International Human Rights Award for his landmark judgements protecting human rights in Pakistan, says that the Supreme Court in a democracy has to protect people’s constitutional rights, liberal institutions, and values.
“Any declaration made, and the principle of law laid down by the court, have a trickle-down effect on other institutions of the state,” he added during his address to the attendees of the award ceremony.
Justice Jillani, who served as the country’s 21st top judge from 2013 to 2014, was honoured during the event helmed by the American Bar Association in Denver, Colorado. The award was established to honour and publically acknowledge the services of a lawyer, human rights luminary, or international human rights organisation that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. The award was presented to the former chief justice by American Bar Association President Deborah Exin-Ross. Acknowledging Justice (retd) Jillani’s practice as part of Pakistan’s legal fraternity, Exin-Ross said: “The award is being given in recognition of Justice Jillani’s courageous judgements against political impunity in a time of crisis and for defending judicial independence.”