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Pakistan lawyers relaxing courts boycott to ease burden on litigants

[JURIST] Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) [profession website] members said Monday that Pakistan's lawyers will relax their ongoing boycott of the post-emergency judiciary [JURIST news archive] to Thursday of every week and one hour of every day, because the backlog caused by their 12-week boycott was creating hardship for civil litigants and criminal defendants. The PBC said it continued to support ousted Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry [JURIST news archive], and refused to recognize the legitimacy of replacement judges who had taken oaths of office under President Pervez Musharraf's now-abrogated Provisional Constitutional Order [text] following his November 3 declaration of emergency rule [JURIST report]. PBC leaders also criticized the continued detention of judges and top lawyers, demanding the government immediately release the detainees.

On Saturday, ousted Pakistani Supreme Court Justice Rana Bhagwandas [JURIST news archive] was placed under house arrest [JURIST report] for urging members of the Karachi Bar Association to boycott judges who had taken Musharraf's oaths of office. Reuters has more. Daily Times has local coverage.

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