Legal Insights by Naich Law Firm

The Latest Developments in Pakistani Law

Pakistan is a nation possessing a multifaceted and ever-changing legal framework that continuously adjusts and responds to evolving conditions. In this article, we will outline several recent advancements in the field of Pakistani law that have taken place over the past year. These advancements encompass:

The passage of a landmark bill to criminalize torture. On November 9, 2022, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Bill 2022 with unanimous support from all parties. The bill aims to prevent and punish torture and custodial deaths by state officials and private actors. The law if passed would be the first time that Pakistan enacts a comprehensive definition of torture in line with Convention Against Torture. The bill also proposes criminal liability for death or injury caused by torture, compensation for victims, independent investigation and prosecution mechanisms, and protection for witnesses and complainants.

The enactment of new laws to protect human rights. In 2022, Pakistan also enacted several new laws to protect and promote human rights, especially for women, children, and minorities. Some of these laws include:

    - The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2022, which criminalizes domestic violence against women and children, provides for protection orders, shelters, and compensation for victims, and establishes special courts to deal with such cases.
    - The Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act 2022, which establishes a national system for reporting, tracking, and recovering missing and abducted children, and imposes harsh penalties for child abduction and sexual abuse.

    - The ICT Rights of Persons with Disability Act 2022, which guarantees the rights of persons with disabilities to education, employment, health care, social security, accessibility, and participation in public life in Islamabad Capital Territory.
    - The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2022, which enhances the punishment for rape and gang rape, introduces chemical castration as an optional punishment for repeat offenders, and provides for speedy trials and witness protection in rape cases.

These are some of the latest developments in Pakistani law that have taken place in 2022. They reflect the efforts of the parliament, the judiciary, the civil society, and the international community to improve the legal system and uphold the rule of law in Pakistan. However, there are still many challenges and gaps that need to be addressed, such as enforcing the existing laws effectively, ensuring judicial independence and accountability, reforming the blasphemy laws that have been misused to persecute religious minorities¹, and protecting the freedom of expression and association of journalists, activists, and lawyers who face harassment and intimidation from state authorities and militant groups.

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About the Author

As a practicing Advocate of the High Court of Sindh, with my office located in Karachi, I specialize in both civil and criminal litigation. I enjoy taking on complex multi-party cases and solving challenging legal issues through persuasive arguments…

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