Introduction

THE   PAKISTAN   BAR   COUNCIL

AN   INTRODUCTION

The Pakistan Bar Council is the highest elected body of lawyers inPakistanestablished under an Act of the Parliament namely “THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS & BAR COUNCILS ACT, 1973. The Attorney-General forPakistanis its ex-officio Chairman whereas it has twenty-three elected Members from throughout the country representing each province. The Members of the Pakistan Bar Council are elected on the basis of a single transferable vote by Members of the Provincial /ICT Bar Councils. The Council also elects its Vice-Chairman every year from amongst its elected Members.

The Pakistan Bar Council exercises general control and supervision over the Provincial /ICT Bar Councils and regulate the entry of lawyers into the legal profession. The main functions of the Bar Council are to admit persons, fulfilling the requirements of law, as Advocates entitled to practice before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and to maintain Roll of such Advocates and to remove advocates from the said Roll. It also enjoys powers to entertain and determine cases of professional and other misconduct against Advocates of the Supreme Court and to award punishment in such cases. Some of the functions of the Pakistan Bar Council, under the above said Act, are:-

(a)                to prepare and maintain a common roll of advocates;

(b)               to admit persons as advocates entitled to practice before the Supreme Court and to prepare and maintain a roll of such advocates and to remove advocates from such roll;

(c)                to entertain and determine cases of misconduct against advocates of the Supreme Court and to award punishment in such cases;

(d)               to lay down standard of professional conduct and etiquette for advocates;

(e)                to lay down the procedure to be followed by its committees;

(f)                to safeguard the rights, privileges and interest of advocates including initiation of measures for fair and inexpensive dispensation of justice by the subordinate Courts and tribunals;

(g)               to promote and suggest law reform;

(h)               to exercise general control and supervision over the Provincial /ICT Bar Councils and to issue directions to them from time to time;

(i)                 to promote legal education and to prescribe standards of such education in consultation with the Universities in Pakistan and the Provincial /ICT Bar Councils;

(j)                 to recognize universities whose degree in law shall be a qualification for enrolment as an advocate;

(k)               to provide free legal aid;

(l)                 to hold conferences, seminars, moots lectures, jurist conferences and other meetings for promoting legal knowledge and learning in the legal profession;

(m)             to prescribe conditions for the recognition and functioning of, and to recognize and derecognize, the Supreme Court Bar Association or any Bar Association at the national level;

(n)               to give directions to the Provincial /ICT Bar Councils in respect of the recognition, derecognizing and functioning of Bar Associations;

The Pakistan Bar Council also enjoys Appellate jurisdiction against decisions of the Provincial /ICT Bar Councils in respect of (i) grant and/or rejection of enrolment of Advocates of High Courts and Courts subordinates thereto; and (ii) the disciplinary matters of Advocates and the decisions of the Supreme Court Bar Association or any other Bar Association at the national level.

As thePakistanBar Council function through its several Committees, it has constituted the following standing Committees on different subjects:-

(1)               Executive Committee

(2)               Legal Education Committee

(3)               Enrolment Committee

(4)               Disciplinary Committee

(5)               Disciplinary Tribunal Committee

(6)               Law Reforms Committee

(7)               Finance Committee

(8)               Rules Committee

(9)               Free Legal Aid Committee

(10)           Appeal Committee (Punjab-I)

(11)           Appeal Committee (Punjab-II)

(12)           Appeal Committee (K.P.K)

(13)           Appeal Committee (Sindh)

(14)           Appeal Committee (Baluchistan)

(15)           Appeal Committee (ICT)

(16)           Co-ordination Committee

(17)           Library Committee

(18)           Human Rights Committee

(19)           International Relations Committee

(20)           Privileges Committee

The Enrolment Committee, Disciplinary Committee and the Disciplinary Tribunal mentioned at No. (3), (4) and (5) above are headed by the Honourable serving judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The Pakistan Bar Council also has the Rule making power to provide for

(1)               the standards of professional conduct and etiquette to be observed by advocates;

(2)               the standards of legal education to be observed by universities in Pakistan and the inspection of universities for that purpose;

(3)               the circumstances in which and the conditions subject to which nationals of any foreign country may be admitted as advocates and foreign qualifications may be recognized for purposes of their admission;

(4)               the procedure to be followed by Tribunals constituted by the Pakistan Bar Council in inquiries relating to the conduct of an advocate;

(5)               the general principles for guidance of the Provincial /ICT Bar Councils;

(6)               the forming recognition, derecognition and functioning of a Supreme Court Bar Association or any Bar Association at the national level;

(7)               the manner in which the election of members and Vice-Chairman of Bar Councils shall be held;

(8)               the summoning and holding of meetings of the Pakistan Bar Council, the times and places where such meetings are to be held, the conduct of business there at and the number necessary to constitute a quorum;

(9)               the constitution and functions of any committee of the Pakistan Bar Council and the term of office of the members of any such committee;

(10)           the form and manner in which applications for admission as an advocate of the Supreme Court are to be made and the manner in which such applications are to be disposed of;

(11)           the forms in which a certificate of enrolment shall be given to a person enrolled as an advocate or an advocate of the High Court (or an advocate of the Supreme Court);