Publications

International Law Benchbook for The Judiciary In Pakistan

This publication examines the engagement of Pakistan’s domestic courts with public international law. Though the contents of the Benchbook are intended to be informative to all members of the judiciary, the superior judiciary is considered the primary audience because it exercises the most expansive jurisdiction over those issues that involve questions of international law. The first […]

International Humanitarian Law on Cyberwarfare and Pakistan’s Legal Framework

Simply put, cyberwarfare is when States or other actors use offensive or defensive means against each other in the cyberspace. As it is an activity that is not bound by geographical limitations, it becomes the subject of international law in general. Moreover, where such hostile activity rises to the level of an ‘attack’ it is […]

Report on The Legal, Institutional and Policy Framework For REDD+ In Pakistan

In April 2017, RSIL drafted a policy, law and regulation review for the UN-FAO on the REDD+ strategy. REDD+ is a strategy that incentivizes the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation. It falls within the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. In this regard, RSIL conducted a comprehensive review of all […]

The Need for a Legitimacy Driven Response to Counter-Terrorism

“The Need for a Legitimacy Driven Response to Counter-terrorism” is a research paper drafted by Research Associate, Zainab Mustafa in April, 2017. The paper highlights that terrorism is a menace that has the ability to undermine the very foundations of a democratic order, necessitating swift and decisive Governmental responses to protect their citizens. Counter-terrorism measures […]

Human Rights and Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Legislative Landscape

This report has been prepared to serve as a tool for the capacity building of the legal community and civil society in the area of counter-terrorism law in Pakistan and its impact on human rights. The report will introduce readers to the patchwork of laws which make up the State’s legal response to terrorism. In […]

Preventive Detention: A Guide to Pakistan’s Operations

This guide was published by the Conflict Law Centre at RSIL in November 2016. It contains an in depth examination of the use of preventive detention or internment in Pakistan’s domestic law and practice. Preventive detention is employed as an aid during Armed Forces or counterterrorism operations as an alternative to the greater use of force […]

Understanding International Humanitarian Law: A Primer on IHL and Pakistan’s Domestic Law

This primer was published by the Conflict Law Centre at RSIL in December, 2016. The primer is a document on international humanitarian law (IHL) and is a selective examination of the law of armed conflict in a context most relevant to Pakistan. IHL is a subsidiary body of public international law and governs armed conflicts, […]

The Legal Implications of Adopting A Conflict Paradigm In Pakistan

This report was published by RSIL in 2015 and was the outcome of an expert meeting which took place on 6 May, 2015 at the RSIL offices in Islamabad on the applicability of international humanitarian law to domestic counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan. The session focused on discussing, from a strictly academic perspective, if a state of […]

The Case for Change: A Review of Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997

This report is RSIL’s flagship publication on counter-terrorism and was published September 2013 with support of the British High Commission, Islamabad. The report contains an exhaustive review of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and is intended as a unofficial ‘White Paper’ on counter-terrorism legislative reform in Pakistan. The Report aims to comprehensively provide workable solutions to […]

European Union’s GSP Plus Regime: Examining Pakistan’s Compliance with International Legal Obligations

“European Union’s GSP Plus Regime”, a policy brief published by the Research Society of International Law, Pakistan in February 2014 aims to provide the Federal Government of Pakistan, its relevant ministries and all other relevant stakeholders with information on what has been achieved thus far pertaining to compliance with the relevant international agreements, and what […]

Towards Protecting Health Care in Karachi: A Legal Review

As part of the ICRC Health Care in Danger Project in Karachi, the ICRC partnered with the Research Society of International Law (RSIL) to conduct a review of the legal framework within which the Karachi healthcare sector operates, in order to identify gaps in the existing legal system and posit effective recommendations to enhance the […]

Frequently Applied Police Laws & Criminal Procedures: An Abridged Compendium

Pakistani law enforcement agencies are currently facing one of the most complex challenges they have ever faced in the history of Pakistan. How should they maintain the rule of law amongst the population while combatting terrorism? This is a matter that requires both the right tools and the right training. It is with this in […]

Pakistan’s International Human Rights Obligations: Training Module for Capacity Building (OXFAM)

Following the 18th Constitutional Amendment, Pakistan set in motion the devolution of federal ministries to the provinces. As a result of this, law-making powers now exist both at the federal and provincial level. One of the issues that immediately arose as a result of the devolution was a severe lack of coordination between the provinces […]

Filling the Missing Gaps in the Indus Water Treaty (ISSI)

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of India share a complex historical relationship. Apart from a common border, centuries of history and culture, languages and ethnicities, and traditions, Pakistan and India share the waters of the Indus River System. The partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 resulted in the headwords of the […]

Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Management: A Legal Perspective (PILDAT)

As part of an initiative on quality of governance and democracy, PILDAT has been working on developing analyses on the need for a better-managed Western border. Their focus stems from the belief that no state can survive with soft borders and unless Pakistan secures its borders, it will continue to face a host of issues […]

Effecting Change in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Probation Regime (Coffey International / Aitebaar Programme)

In Pakistan prison overcrowding is an acute issue. Recent estimates place prison populations well over their maximum capacities. A third of the country’s prisons are holding over twice the number of prisoners authorized. Majority of these prison sentences are also far less likely to rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders into mainstream society. Offenders are much more […]

Pakistan Election Laws and International Standards: A Reference Guide on Legislative Gaps and Vulnerabilities (DRI)

This report identifies areas for reform in Pakistan’s election-related legislation using a framework of international law. International law provides an objective means for identifying how to strengthen legislation and practice. Pakistan ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 2010. By ratification of the ICCPR the state of Pakistan committed itself to […]

Detention in Pakistan: The Means to an End or the End Itself?
Detention in Pakistan: The Means to an End or the End Itself?

by Minahil Khan, Research Associate, RSIL Detention Detention is the deprivation of the right to liberty and under Article 9 of the Constitution of Pakistan, no person can be deprived of his right to life and liberty save in accordance with law. An individual’s right to liberty can thus only be taken in accordance with the grounds and procedure established by the law. This article explores the rampant use of detention under the various instruments available under the law before the framing of a formal criminal charge.

Legality of the Use of Autonomous Weapon Systems
Legality of the Use of Autonomous Weapon Systems

by Sahar Haroon, Research Associate, RSIL Autonomous weapon systems (AWS) may be understood as belonging to two distinct categories: semi-autonomous and fully autonomous. The difference between these groups is based on the extent of interference with them by a human operator.

Violence in Pakistan: A Gendered Perspective
Violence in Pakistan: A Gendered Perspective

by Zainab Mustafa, Research Associate, RSIL Context Pakistan has been ranked as the third most dangerous place in the world for women.[1] Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Pakistan has its roots in a patriarchal social structure under which women are considered inferior to men and are viewed as property.[2] Illiteracy, ignorance and blind faith in clergy provide a fertile ground for the maintenance of the status quo, and encourages this extreme form of patriarchal society.

Gender Neutrality in Rape Laws of Pakistan
Gender Neutrality in Rape Laws of Pakistan

by Hafsa Durrani Gender neutrality within rape laws aims at recognizing that both men and women can be the victims of rape as well as its perpetrators.[1] However, the existing rape laws within Pakistan are far from being gender neutral as they have been drafted within the traditional male-on-female rape framework. The legal language employed by draftsmen not only shapes the law but also the mindsets of the public and how they perceive what rape is.

Course correction on Jadhav
Course correction on Jadhav

Jamal Aziz, Executive Director, RSIL and Oves Anwar, Director, RSIL Published in 28th May, 2017 The International Court of Justice’s order in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case resulted in a media frenzy on both sides of the border. In Pakistan, the order caused despondency and despair amongst politicians and the public alike. The Indian media, in classic fashion, claimed India’s total victory, and that Jadhav’s release was just around the corner.

Understanding the Jadhav Case at the International Court of Justice  (India v. Pakistan)
Understanding the Jadhav Case at the International Court of Justice (India v. Pakistan)

By Oves Anwar, Director, RSIL Understanding the Jadhav Case 17th May, 2017 On Monday, both India and Pakistan presented oral arguments on provisional measures before the ICJ in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan). The case has generated considerable debate as well as much confusion.

Research Society of International law RSIL
The Concept of Legal Diplomacy

Jamal AzizExecutive Director RSILPak-India relations are once again at a low point. The recent violence in Kashmir has raised tensions on both sides, and has once again highlighted how the Kashmir dispute remains the biggest obstacle to normalizing relations between India and Pakistan.A major flashpoint is the apprehension of Kulbhushan Yadav, who subsequently confessed to carrying out various terrorist activities in Balochistan and Karachi at the behest of India’s Research and Analysis Wing.

Research Society of International law RSIL
The Case for Legal Diplomacy

Ahmer Bilal Soofi, President, RSIL Edited by Jamal Aziz, Executive Director, RSIL The contemporary world order has profoundly altered the traditional notions of effective conduct of diplomacy. Today, intelligent state-craft includes strategic use of new and creative forms of diplomacy to settle disputes in the international system and achieve foreign policy objectives. Now consider, for example, the current diplomatic impasse between India and Pakistan.