Ayesha Malik Wiki Bio: After winning the majority vote by five against four at the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) meeting, Justice Ayesha Malik is a step closer to becoming the first woman Supreme Court judge on January 6, yesterday. The decision-making body was led by Pakistan’s Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed.
The decision finally came through after a previous meeting held on September 9 last year, in which her name was brought up for consideration but was rejected as the vote tied at four. Malik’s appointment took time and was not an easy one. Especially with conflict and protest against her name being even considered.
The president of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association Abdul Latif Afridi had called for a countrywide protest against the idea. According to him, Justice Malik was a junior to many judges in the five high courts of Pakistan. The protest does not end here.
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Even with her appointment as a Supreme Court judge yesterday, the Pakistan Bar Council has threatened to boycott the courts if Malik’s name was cleared by JPC.
After being passed by JCP, the proposal for Malik’s appointment is now with a parliamentary committee for consideration. Reportedly, the committee generally agrees with JCP’s recommendation.
Ayesha Malik’s impressive career
Malik started her legal career in 1997 and first assisted Fakhurddin G Ebrahim at his legal firm in Karachi till 2001. After completing her Masters, she became a justice in Lahore High Court in 2012.
Later, in 2019, she became the president of the Committee for Protection of Women Judges in Lahore. The same year, the lawyers in district courts formed a panel against the violent behaviour towards female judges.
Not only that, she has been part of The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), which is a non-governmental organisation. There she took the initiative to empower women by providing them with equality and justice.
According to the IAWJ website, Malik was also involved in case management and the use of information technology at the Lahore High Court. She also insured speedy dispensation of cases.
In January last year, she had delivered a landmark judgement. She declared that two-finger and hymen tests on survivors of sexual assault as illegal and deemed them against the Constitution of Pakistan. This was her judgment on a set of petitions filed between March and June in 2020 by women’s rights activists and a lawmaker affiliated to the Pakistan Muslim League.
In her judgement on the two-finger and hymen test, she stated that it was a humiliating practice that cast suspicion on the survivor and did not focus on the accused and the sexual violence incident.
In 2016, she first initiated the Punjab Women Judges Conference 2016 and since then has led three such conferences.
Malik studied law at the Pakistan College of Law in Lahore and went on to get a master’s degree from the Harvard Law School in London.
She has also studied at schools in Paris and New York. For her A-Levels, she moved to London’s Francis Holland School for Girls. Read more here.
Malik is married to a lawyer and the Principal of a private law college Humayun Ehsan. The couple has three children together.