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Further information: Court system of Pakistan

The Law of Pakistan is the law and legal system existing in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistani law is based upon the legal system of British India; thus ultimately on the common law of England and Wales. Pakistan as an Islamic republic also has been influenced by Islamic Sharia law.


Upon the list of the Dominion of Pakistan in 1947 the laws of the erstwhile British Raj remained in force. At no point in Pakistan's legal history was there an intention to begin the statute book afresh. During the reign of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, elements of Islamic Sharia law were incorporated into Pakistani law, leading to the institution of a Federal Shariat Court (FSC). In some Federally and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas [(FATA) and (PATA)], a system of law employing traditional methods persists at the local level. At this informal level, disputes are settled by a jirga, a council of tribal elders.[1][2]


The political ideology was largely sculpted by the likes of individuals such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Quaid-e Azam)- the founder of Pakistan- while studying Law at Lincoln's Inn in London, he became an admirer of British liberalism. It was the these influences that led to the Pakistani common law being based upon the common law of England and Wales. He took on the role as titular figurehead of Pakistani politics and as a result Pakistan is now a common law system, with an adversarial court procedure and follows other common law practices such as judicial precedent and the concept of stare decisis. However Pakistan differs from the classic common law in many way. Firstly both the criminal and civil laws are almost completely codified, a legacy from the days of the British Raj, when English laws were extended to India by ways of statute.[3] Jury trials have been phased out in Pakistan since independence, because of judicial and public dissatisfaction with their operation; one Pakistani judge called jury trials as "amateur justice".[citation needed] In constitutional law matters Pakistani jurisprudence has been greatly influenced by the United States legal system, Pakistan has adopted a US-style Federal Structure. Islamic law and traditional jirga-based law has also influenced the country's judicial development.

Many of the British Laws Adapted through Adaptation Acts of 1947, 1957.


  1. ^ Saigol, Rubina (2009). "Pakistan's Long March". Development and Cooperation (Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurter-Societät) 36 (5): 208–210. 
  2. ^ Pakistan Law
  3. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. II (1908), The Indian Empire, Historical, Published under the authority of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Oxford at the Clarendon Press. Pp. xxxv, 1 map, 573., pp. 59–60 

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