Law Reform in Pakistan

Osama Siddique
Public guest lecture by Dr. Osama Siddique, Department of Law & Policy, Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Time: 12 December 2013, 10.15-12.00

Venue: Room 24.0.11, Faculty of Humanities


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.

The lecture endeavors to highlight 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 will discuss a typology of Pakistani approaches to law reform and critically evaluate the IFI funded single-minded pursuit of 'efficiency' during the last decade. It will also analyze extant 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.'


Osama Siddique obtained a B.A in Economics, English Literature and Statistics from Government College, Lahore and an M.B.A from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He then read jurisprudence as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He went on to receive an LL.M from Harvard Law School. In 2011, he obtained a Doctorate in Law (S.J.D) from Harvard Law School.

Dr. Siddique's primary areas of research are comparative constitutional law, justice sector reform, judicial policy making and administration, sociology of law, legal and constitutional history of South Asia, law and development, legal education, and human rights.