The Judicial Conference of Australia (JCA) has expressed concern at reports of serious threats of violence following the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case of Asia Bibi.
On 31st October 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed Asia Bibi’s appeal, acquitted her of the charge of blasphemy, and quashed the death sentence which had been imposed on her in 2010.
This decision of the Supreme Court has led to violent and widespread protests across Pakistan. There have been death threats by Muslim extremists against the Supreme Court judges who decided the case, against her lawyer, and against Asia Bibi and her family.
The JCA deplores such threats. They constitute a most serious threat to the rule of law. The rule of law cannot function where judges and lawyers are threatened for performing their duty. Nor can it function properly where extremists refuse to respect the decision of the highest court in the nation and threaten to summarily execute a person who has been acquitted by that court of the offence with which she was charged.
The JCA urges the Government of Pakistan to ensure the safety of the judges and the lawyer whose lives have been threatened and ensure that Asia Bibi and her family are protected.
The Judicial Conference of Australia is the professional association of judges and magistrates in Australia.
For further information, contact the Judicial Conference of Australia Secretariat.
The President of the JCA is not available for broadcast or television interviews on this matter.