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NZLS concerned for rule of law in Pakistan

MEDIA RELEASE

7 November 2007

For immediate use

NZLS President concerned for rule of law in Pakistan

NZLS President John Marshall QC is greatly concerned about the recent attacks on lawyers in Pakistan, and about the dismissal of Judges on political grounds.

His comments follow the suspension of Pakistan's constitution and imposition of emergency rule by President Pervez Musharraf.

In the wake of this emergency rule, Pakistan police have used teargas and batons against lawyers protesting against this emergency rule, news reports have said.

The President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and other lawyers have also been arrested and detained, and the Chief Justice and other Judges dismissed.

Mr Marshall said that an independent legal profession, and an independent judiciary are fundamental principles of the rule of law. It is of the utmost concern to see these principles under attack in Pakistan.

"In this situation I want to add my voice to the voices of lawyers and societies of lawyers around the world who are stating their opposition to how lawyers and judges in Pakistan are being treated", John Marshall said.

His comments came in the wake of statements by both the International Bar Association and the Commonwealth Lawyers' Association.

ends

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