Pakistan Legal System

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Table of Contents in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia

Pakistan Legal System in Asia

Pakistan (official name: the Islamic Republic of Pakistan) is situated in South Asia. The legal system of Pakistan is mixed (Muslim law + Common law). The country, basically, has a common law system with Islamic law influence.

Legal Research in Pakistan: a Guide for Lawyers

In a globalized world, lawyers outside Pakistan may come into contact with Pakistan law, Pakistan lawyers or Pakistan clients, and the last would be better served when their lawyers have an understanding of the essential characteristics and aspects of the Pakistan legal system. Likewise, in researching Pakistan law, it is important for non-Pakistan lawyers not to limit their inquiry to their country sources. In addition, instead of looking for precedents, in Pakistan lawyers browse first the provisions of the corresponding legislation for an appropriate legal principle applied to the case or Pakistan law problem.

Any serious legal issue involving Pakistan must require consultation with a lawyer trained and licensed in Pakistan. International materials and resources, like this Encyclopedia, however, may provide some familiarity with the basic concepts of the Pakistan law, a solid starting point and new perspectives and solutions that are not apparent, sometimes, from within a non-Pakistan legal tradition. Their study may help the non-Pakistan lawyer to determine the general nature of a problem, and can facilitate a better understanding with the Pakistan colleague who may be called in to assist.

Where to Start

General Information about Pakistan and their Legal Tradition

Pakistan and their People

Read about Pakistan and their People here.

Historical Background of Pakistan

Overview of the history of Pakistan.

Legal Education

Offering a summary of the legal education, including law schools , in Pakistan.

Development of Pakistan Law

Report on the development of the law in Pakistan.

Structures of Pakistan Law

It offers a description of the structures of the law in Pakistan.

Sources of the Pakistan Law

Summary of the sources of Law in Pakistan.

Historical Background

More about the history of the Pakistan law here.

Enacted Law in Pakistan

Read more about the legislation in Pakistan.

  • The Pakistan Constitution

Learn more about the Constitution of Pakistan.

  • Pakistan Codes and Statutes

Survey of Pakistan Codes and Statutes.

  • Pakistan Statutory Decrees

Outline of the Pakistan Statutory Decrees.

  • Pakistan Regulations

Scope of the Regulations enacted in Pakistan.

  • Pakistan By-Laws

Observation about the By-Laws in existence in Pakistan.

Customary Law

Learn more about the customary law of Pakistan.

Case Law as a Source of Law

Analysis of the Case Law in Pakistan.

Precedents in Pakistan

Evaluation of the role of Precedents in the Pakistan legal system.

Doctrine in Pakistan

Review of the legal Doctrine in Pakistan.

International sources of law

See more about the international sources of law in Pakistan and Asia, including International Treaties.

The Pakistan Government System

Study of the Government system in existence in Pakistan.

Pakistan Constitutional Structure

Overview of the Constitutional Structure in Pakistan.

Historical Background

Read more about the history of the Government System of the country.

General Characteristics of the Constitution

Constitution of Pakistan: the main features.

Human Rights in Pakistan

Scope of the Civil and Human rights in the country.

Legislative Branch

The legislative branch proposes laws. Find a description of the Legislative Power in Pakistan here.

Structure of the Pakistan Legislative Branch

Observation of the structure of the legislative power in Pakistan.

Functions and Powers

See more about the role of the legislative power in Pakistan here.

Legislative Process

Read how the Pakistan legislative procedures work here.

Supervision of the Executive

Learn how the legislative branch supervises the executive branch.

Executive Branch

The executive power proposes laws. Read more.

Head of State in Pakistan

The head of state of Pakistan is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of Pakistan.

Head of Government in Pakistan

The head of government in Pakistan is the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the political leader of the government of Pakistan.

Pakistan Council of Ministers

See information about the Cabinet Ministers of Pakistan here.

Pakistan Local Governments

Review of the local government powers in Pakistan. See the definition of local rule here.

Local Organizations of Central Administration

The central administration consists of a number of ministries and other organizations, including local ones. Various departments, offices and divisions are established in each ministry in Pakistan. See the definition of centralization here.

Pakistan Municipalities

Outlook of the cities, towns, villages and other communities, including municipal courts (when applicable), and their legal authority in Pakistan.

Judiciary Branch

The judiciary power interprets and applies laws. Find here a review of the Judicial System in Pakistan.

Main Features of the Judiciary

Read the most important characteristics of the Judiciary system in Pakistan here.

Pakistan Judicial Structure

Report of the Court Organization and Jurisdiction in Pakistan.
The Courts in Pakistan may be divided into:

  • High Courts

Description of the functioning of high courts in Pakistan.

  • Lower Courts

Summary of the roles of courts of lesser rank.


Information about rules that influence sentencing in Pakistan.

Participants in the Administration of Justice

Survey about the players in the Administration of Justice in Pakistan and other countries.


Information about the impartial administration of justice, the independence and status of the judiciary and other issues related to Judges in Pakistan.

Public Prosecutors

The role of those government officials who represent, in Pakistan, legal authorities (often prosecuting criminal actions in Pakistan and Asia).

The practice of law

More about the practice of law in Pakistan and Asia.

The legal professions

Outline of the legal professions in Pakistan and Asia.

Practitioners (Lawyers and others)

Learn about the legal role of practitioners, specially lawyers.

Notary-Public in Pakistan

Overview about Public Notaries practising in Pakistan.

Court reporter – Clerks

Overview of Court reporters and Clerks in Pakistan and Asian courthouses.

Civil Law Procedure

Outlook of the main features of the Pakistan civil process, including:

Pretrial Proceedings in Pakistan

Information about what pretrial proceedings consist of.

The Trial in Pakistan

Review of the judicial examinations in civil or criminal actions in Pakistan.

Civil Litigation

Overview of the steps of litigation in Pakistan, the litigator’s role and the types of civil litigation in the country here.


Evidence law outline in Pakistan.

The Judgment

Outlook of the tribunal decisions in Pakistan. For Judgments which are of significance as legal precedents on points of law in Pakistan, see precedents.

The Effect of the Judgment

Overview of effects and recognition of a valid judgment delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction in Pakistan.

Legal Remedies in Pakistan

Enforcement of a legal right ordered by the court. See also the Judicial Relief definition.

Appeals – Judicial Review

Description of the Appeals process and the Judicial Review process of challenging the lawfulness of decisions in Pakistan.

Criminal Law Procedure

Observation of the Criminal Process.

The Investigation of Crime

Scope of the investigation of crimes:

The Prosecution of Crime

Crime Prosecution.

Criminal Trials in Pakistan

Laws and rules of the administration of justice when a person has been accused of a crime.

Appeals – Judicial Review

When a party files an appeal, asking to review the case:

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Pakistan

Method of resolving disputes out-of-court (ADR).

Private Law

Family Law in Pakistan

Guide to Marriage Law, Succession Law and other Family Law topics in Pakistan.

Contract Law in Pakistan

Contracts Law outline in Pakistan.

Tort Law in Pakistan

Regulating claims by civil wrongs that result in an injury or harm.

Property Law in Pakistan

Real property and Personal property law in Pakistan.

Copyright and Industrial Property

Survey of industrial and intellectual property laws in Pakistan.

Foreign Trade

Regulation of Foreign Trade in Pakistan and Asia.

Business Law in Pakistan

Besides commercial law and the law of corporations and other entities, this guide provides comprehensive information about:

Criminal Law in Pakistan

Penal law involves prosecution for a crime in Pakistan and Asia. Find out more.

Family Law in Pakistan

Family legal issues including:

  • Divorce and separation
  • Child protection, custody, support and access
  • Adoptions
  • Property Division

Public Law

More about Public Law here.

Administrative Law

Report of the branches of the Administrative law, including Environmental law.

Administrative Processes

Administrative Processing in Pakistan and Asia.


Taxation in Pakistan explained.

Labor Law

Overview of the labor law and social security in Pakistan.

Asia Legal Systems

Further Resources

History of the Pakistan Legal System

The Pakistan legal tradition has been shaped by many different influences, domestic as well as foreign. More than one different legal system has coexisted in Pakistan at various points in the long country history. The Portal of Pakistan law provides introductory entries about the background and history of the law of the country.

Pakistan Law Portal

The Pakistan Law Portal provides an introductory overview of the history of legal development in Pakistan, major legal concepts, the structure of Pakistan government, the Pakistan judicial and court system, and peculiar characteristic of the response of the Pakistan legal system to development in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Portal presents the main areas of its legal system and the wider aspects of how law is made and reformed. The entries of the Pakistan Law Portal include consideration of the primary features of the Pakistan legal system, including the Pakistan legal history, Pakistan judicial structure and operation, the Pakistan Constitution and the legislative and administrative structure and process. The contents of the Pakistan Portal also include discussion of Pakistan legal actors (including Pakistan lawyers), legal education, judges and other participants in the Pakistan legal landscape.

The Portal introduces legal professionals, students and the general reader to terms and concepts necessary for understanding the Pakistan legal system, the jurisdiction, organization and authority of courts in Pakistan, and the Pakistan judicial interpretation and decision-making. The substantive areas of law such as public law, torts and product liability, property (including intellectual property rights and copyright infringements), and family law are also covered. The Portal also treats the law governing the main business legal topics: contracts, business regulation, companies and taxation. It also examines the civil, criminal and administrative processes, the procedural rights, main court opinions and the various modes of alternative dispute resolution available in Pakistan.

Useful to the reader of the Encyclopedia as a reference, the Portal provides a table of cases, indices provides even greater detail, a glossary of selected legal terms and many entries provide bibliographies for further reading.

Comparative Law and Legal Systems in Asia

One of the goals of the comparative law is to wrap up the similarities and differences among countries, including Pakistan. the different legal traditions in Asia and could be able thereby better to understand the Pakistan law. to the reception of legal systems in Pakistan and other countries of Asia, with special reference to the reception of foreign law (specially English law and Islamic law) by these countries.

The Asian Encyclopedia of Law provides a survey of the legal systems of almost all the Asian jurisdictions. Being the Encyclopedia a work in progress, the length of the entries may vary considerably. Each country section includes a description of their major subject areas of law, notes on the main compilations (or official codifications), a detailed listing of legislation covering specific topics and resources for enacted laws and judicial decisions (including references to further online sources).

Conclusion about the Legal System of Pakistan

A good comprehension of the Pakistan legal system requires knowledge and skill in a number of disciplines. The Pakistan system itself is the result of developments in law, economy, politics, sociological change and the theories which feed all these bodies of knowledge. The law or Pakistan may be relevant in a foreign jurisdiction court proceeding involving international transactions. The Knowledge of the Pakistan traditions and its legal institutions allows a good understanding of the Pakistan law, its institutions and processes and sets the Pakistan law and system in a social context.

This guide introduces some of the main procedural and substantive Pakistan principles, with a more detailed treatment of resources in the major subject areas of the Pakistan law, with access to primary materials.

The general reader and students may learn some basic legal concepts and principles of the Pakistan law, to explain how the Pakistan legal system operates, and to provide a sense of how the systems within Pakistan have evolved historically in Pakistan from its origins.

A globally focused guide like this site, including the legal concepts and principles of Asia, cannot
avoid taking many culture-specific elements into account.

About the Author

Salvador Trinxet Llorca is a law writer, professor and lawyer specialized in comparative and international law.

See Also

References and Further Reading

  • Comparative law in a global context: the legal systems of Asia and Africa, Werner Menski
  • Asian legal systems: law, society, and pluralism in East Asia, Poh-Ling Tan
  • Philanthropy and law in Asia: a comparative study of the nonprofit legal systems in ten Asia Pacific societies, Thomas Silk
  • Law and legal institutions of Asia: traditions, adaptations and innovations, E Ann Black; Gary F Bell
  • Law, capitalism and power in Asia: the rule of law and legal institutions, Kanishka Jayasuriya
  • Asia-Pacific legal development, Douglas M Johnston and Gerry A Ferguson
  • Modern legal systems cyclopedia, Kenneth R Redden and William Emerson Brock
  • Constitutionalism in Asia: Asian views of the American influence, Lawrence Ward Beer
  • The judicialization of politics in Asia, Björn Dressel
  • East Asian Law: Universal Norms and Local Cultures
  • Law, Capitalism and Power in Asia: The Rule of Law and Legal Institutions
  • Doing Business in Asia (updated regularly)
  • Copyright Law and the Information Society in Asia
  • Insolvency Law in East Asia
  • Intellectual Property Law in Asia
  • A Legal Guide to Doing Business in the Asia-Pacific


  • Asia-Pacific Development Journal
  • Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
  • Asian Law Journal
  • Australian Journal of Asian Law
  • Columbia Journal of Asian Law


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