CJP slams lack of focus on legal education


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday regretted that judicial education had never been accorded priority or considered a specialised field in the minds of policymakers.
Addressing a stone-laying ceremony of phase-II of the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA), the CJP said the state of affair had led to deterioration of legal and judicial education.
He said there was greater ignorance of law and inability to apply it, even though it was universally accepted that Ignorantia legis neminem excusat, which means “ignorance of law is no excuse”. Therefore, he said, professional judicial training academies had to fill up this gap more vibrantly to impart best judicial practices and legal education to the judges, court personnel, law officers and lawyers. He said the Federal Judicial Academy, being a national institution, had to shoulder this responsibility not only in terms of disseminating judicial education but also to develop national cohesion. Quoting Joseph Dinneen about the importance of judicial training, the CJP said, “The view point of a jurist is determined by his practical background and training.”
Quoting Winston Churchill, he said, “We shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us.”
He said these words signified the fact that one should take due care in visualising and sharing the brick and mortar structure of our national institutions. “It is because once these structures are designed and erected, they tend to affect the potential output and utility of these institutions.”
He said judicial education and research in the field of administration of justice were matters of prime importance, adding that the quality of administration of justice and the structure of judicial system stood firmly on the quality of education in professional training institutions.