Why we stop checking on erroneous law books?

The Supreme Court of Pakistan heard the Suomotocase and ordered on March 3, 2015 that the legislation be applied to regulate the publication of the law books and to control the sale of erroneous right books because it leads to adverse situation consequences, for example, cause loss to any of the parties in litigation.

The question regarding errors in the publication of the law books arose on 25.02.2014 when the Court No. II of the Supreme Court of Pakistan included the Honorable Mr. Judge Jawad S. Khawaja and the Honorable Mr. Ejaz Afzal Khan while listening they noted that the book entitled The Contract Act 1872, had not printed / reproduced the correct version of section 23 of the Contract Law, 1872.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan took note of the matter and ordered the Pakistan Bar Association, the Provincial Council of the Bar Association as well as the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Department of Provincial Law to monitor the issue of publication error of the law books because this problem is adequately addressed. Problem can be taken care of properly.

The publication of the law book in Pakistan was a colossal disaster because it contains errors. The lack of attention from government and private publishing agencies had greatly affected the existing standards of legal publication. Therefore, it was urgent to take stock of the situation.

Fundamental transformations to make it more market oriented and to align it with international standards. The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan therefore,announced a substantial grant specifically for improvement and innovative approaches in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčlegal education under the “Access to Justice” project that could help improve our legal education system.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the Ministry of Law and Justice to establish a mechanism to curb the means of error in the books. In its ranks, the Ministry established a cell, namely, “The publication of the laws of Pakistan”, in accordance with the Ordinance; subsequently, the Ordinance became the Law of the Parliament, “Publication of the laws of Pakistan, 2016”.

This cell work for approximately two years, now this cell exists but not in a form of work which is against the ruling. Working of the cell is very necessary to achieve the task of the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan. Because this is the duty of the Government to ensure the printing and availability of the impeccable publication of Pakistan’s law to eradicate the prevalent adverse effects of erroneous publications on legal education and law enforcement by lawyers and judges.

The Ordinance which later on become an Act of parliament imposes a huge burden on publishers to access the cell for registration and lacks central and online process mechanisms. This leaves leeway for uninformed editors regarding the enactment of the law. Therefore, the ministry should initiate a communication campaign for a broad scope of knowledge of order and its implementation. In addition, the publisher’s definition includes suppliers that use print and electronic media, but the order lacks information on the regulation of online dissemination of standards and laws for greater awareness.

The standardization of legal printing is worthy of praise in all aspects, but the success of any policy enactment depends to a large extent on the monitoring and accountability mechanisms of the implementation team. It is suggested that the ordinance include the action plan to program and control the operation of the cell. The cell must also guarantee the availability of up-to-date books on the market with the latest amendments and laws passed by all provincial and federal legislatures. In the same course, the cell must take advantage of the unauthorized publication of books in violation of copyright. In addition, the use of technology should be improved in online recording and authentication of compilations of laws.

The Court has emphasized that in any civilized system of government, the first and foremost obligation of the government is to make sure that all applicable laws are easily available to citizens in easily understandable language. It was, therefore, a matter of great concern that the laws, whether Federal or Provincial, had not been translated into the national language which is a requirement of Article 251 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan or publicized in provincial/local languages if considered appropriate, in line with the constitutional provision in Article 28 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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