You are here

AIPS Panel at AAS

AIPS Sponsored Panel at AAS:

Title: Innovations on the Legal Front in Pakistan: New Laws That May Surprise You
Panel #307

Sunday, March 24th, 2013, 8:00 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel
San Diego, CA

Panel Abstract:

         There have been a number of exciting transformations in Pakistan’s legal system in recent years. Many of these shifts and changes are hardly known outside of the country, despite having important implications for Pakistan’s democratic future and development concerns. This panel, bringing together scholars from law and the social sciences, seeks to capture the variety of legal fronts and processes within which new laws have been recently framed. Importantly, all investigate not only the processes that brought about these legal changes but also explore the reasons behind formulating the new laws and their implications.

         Ali Ahsan (McKinsey & Co.) focuses on the influence and actions of the superior judiciary in being proactive in identifying legal concerns to be remedied and how it has affected legislative actions. He argues that it has transformed itself from a passive interpretive entity to a leading legislative force, not only greatly affecting the scope of existing laws but also proving instrumental in the creation of entirely new legislation. Building on this thread of the role played by Pakistan’s superior judiciary, Martin Lau (SOAS, University of London) traces the historical precedent of changes in family law and recent decisions in advancing the rights of women in significant ways.  Anita Weiss (University of Oregon) then explores the series of new laws that have recently been implemented to empower women in Pakistan, ranging from ensuring women’s safety as they enter public domains, to domestic violence legislation, and the banning of and establishment of new laws to protect women from traditional practices which cause women to bear the consequences for wrongs committed by others. Osama Siddique (LUMS) addresses the political consensus that influenced recent Constitutional Amendments, including the fundamental right to an education, the restructuring of the appointment mechanism for appellate court judges, the devolution of various legislative arenas from the center to the provinces. Asifa Quraishi-Landes (University of Wisconsin, Madison, Law) will explore common themes as the panel discussant.



Role Affiliation/Paper Title

Anita M. Weiss
Department of International Studies
5206 University Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-5206
United States

Chair,Session Organizer


University of Oregon

Moving Forward with the Legal Empowerment of Women in Pakistan

Asifa Quraishi-Landes
University of Wisconsin Law School
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
United States

Discussant University of Wisconsin

Ali Ahsan
McKinsey & Company
55 E 52nd St., 21st Floor
New York, New York 10022
United States

Presenter McKinsey & Company

Martin Lau
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London, London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom


SOAS, University of London

The Quiet Evolution: Judicial Activism, Women's Rights and Law Reform in Pakistan

Osama Siddique
Department of Law and Policy
Lahore, Punjab 00000


LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences)

Constitutional Evolution through Consensus: Pakistan's Impressive Progress in the Post-Musharraf Era