NYC Bar Honorary Membership for Justice Chaudhry

New York: The New York City Bar Association has bestowed one of its highest honors - "honorary membership" -  upon deposed Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in recognition of his efforts to uphold the independence of  Pakistan's judiciary.
In September 2007, the NYC Bar Association's Honors Committee, chaired by US District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, unanimously recommended Justice Chaudhry's honorary membership to the Association's Executive Committee. Chaudhry had intended to visit New York to formally accept the award, but the ongoing political strife has prevented him from leaving Pakistan.
"Today the New York City Bar Association has been obliged to deviate from a decades-old policy of requiring that honorary membership be presented to the honoree in person," Judge Rakoff said. "We cannot allow the abysmal events occurring in Pakistan to derail the bestowment of an honor so rightfully deserved. Chief Justice Chaudhry has made tremendous contributions to the independence of Pakistan's judiciary. We remain hopeful that the Chief Justice will come to New York in the near future to celebrate this honor."
The Association has also written to President Musharraf urging the restoration of the Pakistani Constitution and the release of those unlawfully detained and the reinstatement of Chief Justice Chaudhry and other judges who were relieved of their duties on November 3, 2007.
The letter was signed by Association President Barry Kamins, who said, "Lawyers around the world must continue to speak out for judicial independence and in support of those lawyers and judges who remain under detention in Pakistan. We cannot allow their plight to be overlooked, and must press our governments to do what they can to seek restoration of the rule of law."

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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