Justice Ayesha A. Malik
First Female Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) had approved, on January 07, Ayesha Malik’s nomination to the Supreme Court with a vote of five to four. CJP Gulzar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, retired judge Sarmad Jalal Osmani, Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan and Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem had endorsed her name for appointment as a Supreme Court judge, whereas Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Pakistan Bar Council representative Akhtar Hussain had opposed her nomination. The opposing four members had insisted that criteria should be evolved for the appointment of superior court judges first, adding that the seniority principle should be followed for the appointment of SC judges.
Born in 1966, Justice Ayesha A. Malik completed her basic education from schools in Paris, New York and London. She did her senior Cambridge from Karachi Grammar School and A-Levels from Francis Holland School for Girls in London. She studied law at the Pakistan College of Law in Lahore and then went on to pursue higher studies at Harvard University in the United States, where she was named a London H. Gammon Fellow 1998-1999 for outstanding merit. Upon her return to Pakistan in 1997, she joined Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim & Co., Karachi, where she assisted former Chief Election Commissioner late Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim.
From 2001 to the date of her elevation as a high court judge, Justice Ayesha Malik worked with M/S Rizvi, Isa, Afridi and Angell, known as RIAA, initially as a senior associate and then as a partner. She was also in-charge of the firm’s Lahore office. She spearheaded the Corporate and Litigation Department of the firm’s Lahore office.
She had been appearing as pro bono counsel for NGOs working in poverty alleviation, microfinance programmes and skills training programmes.
Apart from his practice, Justice Ayesha Malik also taught banking law at the University of the Punjab, Department of Masters of Business and Information Technology, and mercantile law at College of Accounting and Management Sciences, Karachi. She spent many years voluntarily teaching English language and development in communication skills at Herman Meiner School in Lahore.
Moreover, she is the author of a number of publications, including “Why Trade in Financial Services: An assessment of the Agreement on Trade in Financial Services under the GATS,” the Journal of World Investment, the 12th edition of the Global Report 2004 on the Independence of the Judiciary-Pakistan Chapter and Pakistan Secular Laws.
Justice Ayesha Malik also compiled the Supreme Court of Pakistan 1956-2006 Selected Cases published by the Pakistan College of Law on the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court. She also contributed to the Merger Control, Getting the Deal Through, being an International Journal of Competition policy and Regulation Global Competitive Review.
She had been a reporter for Pakistan for the Oxford Reports on the International Law in the Domestic Courts, a publication of the Oxford University Press.
Justice Ayesha A. Malik was fourth on the seniority list of the LHC. Now, she will serve as a judge of the apex court and even may also become the country’s first Chief Justice for a year before her retirement in March 2031.
The writer is a member of staff.