Hello! Welcome to the Centre for Access to Justice at Ziauddin University!
It is too cliche, but John F. Kennedy’s everlasting ‘ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’ stands as a principle today. Legal education is a part of the administration of justice for any society. The greatest minds of a society are to be found in its law schools, it produces judges, lawyers and administrators. These jobs are powerful and leave major impact on their communities.
Yet, what many do not realize is that even student lawyers can make an impact on their society. They help not only with the development of the law to be applied, but also in practical terms they can help their communities, the most deserving of the society, through proper legal research and advice. This is what the Centre for Access to Justice at Ziauddin University was formed for.
When social justice reaches the lowest segments of society, it translates automatically into furthering the rule of law, liberty, constitutionalism and democracy. We as a society lack, in one respect or another, all of these abstract notions. It is only through the spread of social justice that we can achieve the highest echelons of these pragmatic notions. Social justice itself would only be a dream, unless access to justice is provided to all and sundry, and we are ready to this for our country.
Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful orders in Surat An-Nisa 4:135;
”O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. Follow not your desires, lest you not be just. If you distort your testimony or refuse to give it, then Allah is aware of what you do.”
Social Justice in Islam was of such magnificent magnitude that even the highest official of the religious-state at the time, the rightly guided Caliph Ali Ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) lost a case against a member of the Christian minority on the basis of admissible evidence. The rules of justice under Islam apply to everybody, the highest and the lowest.
In matters of faith, and in matter of patriotism, there is no greater duty than to aid the administration of justice in a society. To do it pro bono, is a great service to this nation. I look forward to the faculty and the students at Ziauddin doing just that.
Barrister Ali Tahir
Centre for Access to Justice