Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa is set to take the oath of office as the 29th Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) today (Sunday) after his predecessor Umar Ata Bandial stepped down on Saturday.
President Dr Arif Alvi will administer his oath at the President’s House in Islamabad. The ceremony will be attended by top government officials and dignitaries such as military authorities, caretaker federal ministers, senators, and foreign ambassadors.
His stint as the country’s top justice, however, will be limited, as he is scheduled to retire on October 25, 2024.
On September 5, 2014, Justice Isa took the oath of office as a judge of the Supreme Court. Despite being the senior puisne judge, he has not been assigned any constitutional cases for the previous three years, as a result of a presidential referral filed against him in 2019.
The country’s incoming top judge was born in Quetta on October 26, 1959. His father, the late Qazi Mohammad Isa, was a key figure in the Pakistan Movement and a close ally of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
After finishing his primary and secondary school in Quetta, Justice Isa attended the Karachi Grammar School for O and A-level studies. He then relocated to London to further his legal study at the Inns of Court School of Law in order to pass the bar professional examination.
On January 30, 1985, the new chief judge joined the Balochistan High Court and was admitted to the Supreme Court in March 1998. After the emergency was imposed on November 3, 2007, during the Pervez Musharraf period, Justice Isa decided not to appear before the justices who took the oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO).
Simultaneously, after the Supreme Court overturned the November 3 ruling, the Balochistan High Court judges resigned, while Justice Isa was directly appointed as a judge of the provincial high court on August 5, 2009.
He practiced in the legal industry for 27 years before being appointed to the Balochistan High Court and the Supreme Court. During this time, he was sought after by numerous high courts and the Supreme Court for assistance in a variety of complex issues, as well as for conducting international arbitrations.