On 15 October, The Hague Institute welcomed Justice Khalil Ur Rahman Ramday, former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, who delivered a lecture on the constitutional and judicial history of Pakistan.
Justice Ramday commenced his lecture by defining justice as “remaining within the prescribed limits.” He posited the universal nature of justice. Building upon the notion of justice as a natural phenomenon, he noted that human and fundamental rights are natural and inherent, and that constitutions and other legal texts do not confer these rights but only recognize their existence.
Commenting on the nexus between justice and the rule of law, Justice Ramday defined the rule of law as the instruments we follow to establish justice, and noted its necessity for an orderly society and peaceful existence.
Justice Ramday highlighted the role of the judiciary and noted that occasional sacrifices by the judiciary have been of importance for its growth and development. He referred to the case of Pakistan, whose judiciary had been subdued by the imposition of martial law on a number of occasions and he recalled the sacrifice made by Pakistani people who took to the streets to reinstate the judiciary which had been effectively suspended between 2007 and 2009. Justice Ramday looks back upon this event as a blessing in disguise, as it demonstrated that the Pakistani people stood by the judiciary and that it had helped the judiciary develop and gain recognition.
Following the lecture, Justice Ramday participated in a question and answer session moderated by Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute.