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Pakistan's Experience with Formal Law
An Alien Justice

$115.00 (C)

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Date Published: July 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107038158

$115.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Law Reform in Pakistan attracts such disparate champions as the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the USAID and the Taliban. Common to their equally obsessive pursuit of 'speedy justice' is a remarkable obliviousness to the historical, institutional and sociological factors that alienate Pakistanis from their formal legal system. This pioneering book highlights vital and widely neglected linkages between the 'narratives of colonial displacement' resonant in the literature on South Asia's encounter with colonial law and the region's post-colonial official law reform discourses. Against this backdrop, it presents a typology of Pakistani approaches to law reform and critically evaluates the IFI funded single-minded pursuit of 'efficiency' during the last decade. Employing diverse methodologies it proceeds to provide empirical support for a widening chasm between popular, at times violently expressed, aspirations for justice and democratically deficient reform designed in distant IFI headquarters that is entrusted to the exclusive and unaccountable Pakistani 'reform club.'

    • Diverse empirical methods are used for gauging actual experience of ordinary citizens
    • Proposes an analytical typology and discusses the various historical approaches to law reform in Pakistan
    • Identifies and discusses the absence of necessary linkages between the scholarship that evaluates the impact of colonialism on Indian law and the postcolonial law reform debates in South Asia
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2014–15 Book Prize, American Institute of Pakistan Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107038158
    • length: 485 pages
    • dimensions: 233 x 156 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.82kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The hegemony of heritage: the 'narratives of colonial displacement' and the absence of the past in Pakistani reform narratives
    2. Law in practice: the Lahore district courts litigants survey (2010–2011)
    3. Law, crime, context and vulnerability: the Punjab crime perception survey (2009–2010)
    4. Approaches to legal and judicial reform in Pakistan: postcolonial inertia and the paucity of imagination in times of turmoil and change
    5. Reform on paper: a post-mortem of justice sector reform in Pakistan from 1998–2010
    6. Reform nirvanas and reality checks: justice sector reform in Pakistan in the twenty-first century and the monopoly of the 'experts'
    7. Towards a new approach

  • Author

    Osama Siddique, Lahore University of Management Sciences
    Osama Siddique is Associate Professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences. He has previously worked as a transactional lawyer at two leading U.S. law firms and as an advocate in the Pakistani appellate courts. His research articles have been published in a number of international academic law journals.


    • Winner of the 2014–15 Book Prize, American Institute of Pakistan Studies
    • Winner of the Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award, Karachi Literature Festival 2014

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