The Policy Brief on the Impact of Devolution on Legislative Reform relating to Law and Order in Pakistan has been prepared in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung, Pakistan. It analyzes the impact of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan on the legislative competence related to law and order.
The dramatic decentralization of power by virtue of the 18th amendment represented an opportunity for lawmakers to address some of the challenges that arose as a result of the law and order situation prevalent in the country at the time. However, the realignment of roles and responsibilities at the Federal and provincial level has created an air of uncertainty especially with regard to the legislative competence of the Provinces. This has resulted in some provincial laws being rendered void by Courts due to their infringement on the competence of the Federation.
This Policy Brief is aimed to serve as a guide for academics, legal practitioners and civil society members on the contours of law and order in Pakistan and the legislative competence related thereto. It is specifically useful for members of the government who are tasked with policy formulation and execution; parliamentarians who are responsible for drafting and approving legislation pertaining to law and order and finally; and members of the judiciary and legal community who must interpret and apply the law in conformity with the Constitution.
This Policy Brief provides a historical perspective to the political dynamics that led to the re-distribution of powers in the backdrop of an unstable and volatile security situation. It highlights the response of the State; both in terms of the success of the launch of counter-militant offensives and the formulation of the National Action Plan as well as the subsequent neglect in its implementation. The Policy Brief considers the neglect in implementation of the National Action Plan in light of the legislative measures that have been stalled or declared void as a result of the confusion surrounding the competences of the two legislative tiers; namely the Federation and the Provinces. This has required us to delve into an analysis of the Constitutional framework and alleviate the current confusion regarding the delineation of the legislative lists and determine the subjects relating to law & order which fall within the competences of the Federation and those which fall within the competence of the Provinces. In making this determination, we have also relied on a wide range of case law containing useful judicial pronouncements and interpretations by the superior courts in Pakistan.
Table of Contents
Part One: Background
Part Two: A Brief Constitutional History of Pakistan and Devolution
Part Three: Law and Order Situation at the time of the 18th Amendment
Part Four: The State’s Renewed Resolve to Fight Terrorism
Part Five: Applicable Constitutional Framework
Part Six: The Legislative Lists and Due Competence
Part Seven: Delineating the Legislative Lists
Part Eight: Judicial Interpretation