Ahmer Bilal Soofi holds an LLM in international law from the University of Cambridge. He is the founding President of the Research Society of International Law and the Senior Partner of the well-reputed law firm ABS&Co with offices in Lahore and Islamabad. He served as the Federal Minister for Law and Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights, in the caretaker government in 2013. He has appeared before the High Courts and the Supreme Court of Pakistan in over 1,000 cases. He is also a life-long member of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. He was elected as a member of the Advisory Committee to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Vice-President of its Asia-Pacific group for three years in 2011.
Mr. Soofi often represents Pakistan as an expert in international law matters, providing, for example, legal counsel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He works continuously towards implementing and improving legislation in Pakistan relating to international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Previously, Mr. Soofi and his team at RSIL completed a one volume comprehensive comparison of Pakistan’s entire body of legislation with the Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocols. He also supervised the preparation of a ratification memo for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), comparing Pakistan’s domestic legislation with the provisions of the ICCPR. This memo contributed to Pakistan’s decision to accede to the Covenant. Likewise, when deciding to ratify the Convention against Torture (CAT), the Government utilized his work on CAT. More recently, he advised the Government of Pakistan on the Child Rights Convention and regarding the compliance report of Pakistan with UNSC Resolution 1540 as well as on the implementing domestic legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Mr. Soofi negotiated in seven successive sessions of the UN General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on behalf of the G-77 and Pakistan regarding the UN Convention on Corruption where several of his suggestions received support from the negotiating states and were eventually incorporated into the text of the Convention. He was also appointed to a fourteen-member Consistency Group to review the language of the entire Convention. Later, he was appointed to an Experts Group to prepare implementing guidelines for the Convention. He has been a member of a UN Office on Drugs and Crime Experts Group on Terrorism relating to interpretation of offences contained in UNSC Resolution 1373. He is also a member of the panel of Eminent Persons of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation providing regular input on building a global consensus against defamation of religion.
Mr. Soofi is invited frequently to lecture on various aspects of international and comparative law issues relating to Pakistan at leading national institutes such as the National Defense University Islamabad, the Command and Staff College Quetta, and the National University of Sciences and Technology Islamabad. He remained a visiting Professor of International Law for over a decade at the University of the Punjab. His forty-five lecture series on international law was recorded by Virtual University of Pakistan and is offered as an online course. The University of Trento Italy also commissioned him as an examiner for a doctoral thesis. He has delivered talks and lectures at venues like the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School (Boston, USA), International Development Law Organization (Rome, Italy), Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (Colombo, Sri Lanka), Shanghai University (China), Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University (Boston, USA), the Royal United Institute (London, UK) and United States Institute of Peace (Washington DC, USA).
A prolific writer, Mr. Soofi has written over 150 articles on various issues of international and comparative law in leading national newspapers and national and international journals. Currently, he writes regularly for the Dawn. He recently wrote a chapter titled ‘Legal Challenges to Military Operations in Pakistan: The case of the Federally and Provincially Administered Areas’ for ‘Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Challenge’ published by Georgetown University Press in 2014. He also frequently appears as a legal expert on national and international electronic media.
Mr. Soofi is member of the Board of Governors of the World Wide Fund for Nature, Pakistan (WWF). He previously represented civil society in several important public interest litigations before the Supreme Court and obtained injunctive orders preventing de-forestation in important national parks of Pakistan.