Introduction

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was born on July 6, 1949 in Multan, where after finishing his high School, he attended the Government Emerson College Multan and then Forman Christian College University where he attained

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani


Professional Achievements


Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was born on July 6, 1949 in Multan, where after finishing his high School, he attended the Government Emerson College Multan and then Forman Christian College University where he attained BA and MS in Political science. He gained LLB in law from the Punjab University.

Subsequently, on a Higher Education Commission scholarship, Justice Jillani went to United Kingdom for higher studies in law where he completed and gained LLM in Constitutional law from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the London University.

In October 2007, Justice Tassadduq Jillani received Doctorate in Humane letters from Southern Virginia University, United States in a special convocation in 2007.

In 1974, after completing his studies, Justice Jilani started practicing law at the district courts in Multan. After two years of initial experience in practicing law, he secured his enrollment as an advocate at the Lahore High Court. In 1976, he was elected as General-Secretary of the Lahore High Court Bar Association in 1976, and elected as member of the Punjab Bar Council in 1978.

Justice Tassadduq Jillani was appointed as Assistant Advocate-General of Punjab in July 1979. After gaining experiences at the Lahore High Court, his enrollment as an advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan was approved in 1983. In 1988, he was promoted as an Additional Advocate-General of the Punjab. He was then appointed as Advocate-General of Punjab by the Lahore High Court in 1993.

Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani was elevated as a judge at the Lahore High Court on 7 August 1994, an appointment personally approved by the Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. During this time, he heard various criminal and non-criminal cases while building up the reputation as a judge at the Lahore High Court. Finally, his judicial credentials led to appointment to his appointment as judge at the Supreme Court, and secured his nomination papers' by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in 2004. His final elevation as judge at the Supreme Court was approved by the former President Pervez Musharraf in July 2004.

Justice Jillani was one of the senior justices who refused to take an oath, under the now-unconstitutional PCO law issued on 7 November 2007, by the former President and chief of army staff General Pervez Musharraf. He was among the 70 senior justices who were forcefully retired and detained from the Supreme Court.

After the successful Lawyers' movement which ultimately led the reinstatement of the suspended judiciary on 23 March 2009, Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani announced that President Asif Zardari had issued an executive order that restored the whole judiciary including Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani.

On July 31, 2009, a 14 panel court held that declaration of emergency and imposition of PCO of 2007 was illegal and invalid. It also held that removal of all justices from higher judiciary was not valid and further held that reappointment of justices had no legal effect as their removal in the first place was not valid.

On 17 August 2013, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry appointed Senior Justice Jillani to act as the Chief Election Commissioner with immediate effect and till the appointment of a new Chief Election Commissioner. He took over the office of Chief Election Commissioner upon retirement of the former Senior Justice Fakhruddin Ebrahim who resigned from the office on 30 July 2013. His appointment as chief election commissioner was secured through the by-election clauses of the Constitution.

Upon the recommendation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain approved the nomination papers of Senior Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani to be elevated as Chief Justice, after the retirement of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry which was due on 12 December 2013.

Upon approval of his nomination, Senior Justice Jillani immediately resigned as chief election commissioner and passed the office to fellow Senior Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk. On 12 December 2013, President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath of Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani as the Chief Justice.

Immediately after his oath, he took suo motu actions on court administration for allowing only one and specific news channels (Geo Network) to exclusively cover the full-court reference in honour of outgoing chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. On immediate effect, it was reported that the former chief justice's principal secretary was transferred to human rights cell following the suo motu taken by the incumbent chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani over the media coverage of full court reference.

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani has served as an Honorary Co-Chair for the World Justice Project. The World Justice Project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.

In July 2008, when Justice Jillani was invited by the American Bar Association to receive and accept the Rule of Law Award on behalf of those judges of Pakistan who demonstrated courage in upholding the Rule of Law in the country, he penned:

In Pakistan, if one were to distinguish a headline from a trend line in assessing change, the recent events are a pointer to a moral renaissance and augur well for the spiritual health of the nation. Never before has so much been sacrificed by so many for the supremacy of law and justice. The assertion of the judicial conscience, the rise of a vibrant Bar, a vigilant civil society, and the emergence of an independent media would ultimately lead to the establishment of a constitutional democracy, stable political institutions, and an expanded enforcement of the Rule of Law. These to me are the trend lines that I would like to pin my hopes on.

In Pakistan, Chief Justice Jillani is widely known to be an avid enthusiast of poetry, antiques and classical films. When a biographical documentary on him was aired on news channels, a retired librarian of the Supreme Court building, Muhammad Aslam, quoted that Justice Jillani managed the affairs of the library and made sure to add thousands of new judicial and non-judicial books to its shelves.

In literary, he also authored and penned a theme song, Justice for All; sung by various Pakistan's singers at the 50th Anniversary of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The song has been declared as the Judicial Anthem of Pakistan by former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.