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Pakistan high court upholds emergency declaration, ouster of judges

[JURIST] The reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] validated President Pervez Musharraf's [official profile; JURIST news archive] declaration of emergency rule and concomitant ouster of judges, including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive], in an opinion released Friday. A 13-judge panel headed by current Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar upheld Musharraf’s actions in November 2007 as “inevitable” in order to prevent "chaos and anarchy.” Friday’s decision confirmed an earlier judgment [JURIST report] by the same Supreme Court upholding Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule as constitutional.

Musharraf's emergency declaration - now rescinded - effectively dismissed the pre-emergency Supreme Court bench led by Chaudhry. The ousted judges have since been formally retired [JURIST report], although they and their supporters insist that they still legally hold office under Pakistan's constitution. The parties in Pakistan's new coalition government are still struggling over a workable political formula for reinstatement, urged on by members of the country's lawyers' movement [JURIST reports]. PTI has more.

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