Justice Shah was elevated to the bench at the Lahore High Court in 2009 and after serving as the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court for almost two years was elevated to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in early 2018.  He did his schooling at Aitchison College, Lahore and got his law degree from the University of Cambridge, UK, as well as, the University of the Punjab, where he also obtained a degree in Masters in Economics.  As a corporate litigator, he was a partner at AFRIDI, SHAH & MINALLAH[1] and took interest in public interest litigation with special focus on the environment and

had a passion for teaching and taught law for almost two decades at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Punjab Law College and Pakistan College of Law, Lahore.  He was also part of the steering committee that established the law school at LUMS, now called Syed Ahmed Hassan School of Law & Policy (SAHSOL).

His areas of interest are the constitutional law, human rights, administrative law, taxation, climate and water justice, environmental sustainability, disability rights, digital surveillance, privacy and proportionality. He is a keen proponent of sustainable development. He has a heart for judicial reforms and as the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court he spearheaded the formation of Alternate Dispute Resolution Centers (ADRC) in every district of the Province providing an alternative to litigation and to reduce the staggering pendency of cases. He established Criminal and Civil Model Courts to create working coordination between stakeholders in order to speed up dispensation of justice, introduced Case Management and Court Automation Systems in Punjab both at the Lahore High Court and the District Courts, installed first ever Enterprise IT System with the help of Punjab Information Technology Board to sustain the IT vision of the court for the next decade and make the judicial system in Punjab, open, transparent, smart and fully connected at all levels.  To provide access to justice to an ordinary litigant and the lawyers, online Call Centre, Judicial Mobile App and online Sahulat (care) Center were established.

He underlines the need for Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Human Resource Development and Restructuring of the District Judiciary as the effective engines of change for the future and would like them to be mainstreamed to achieve state of the art judicial governance. He lays great emphasis on empowering the District Judiciary by enhancing their capacity through international and domestic training, based on performance indicators and by providing them a secure and conducive working environment, especially for the women judges. He feels that we need to increase judge per capita to improve the quality and speed of dispensation of justice in the country.

He helped restructure the curriculum at the Punjab Judicial Academy and brought it in line with the global best practices building a sustainable platform for judicial capacity building of the members of the District judiciary and the ministerial court staff. He laid special emphasis on research and played a foundational role in setting up the Lahore High Court Research Centre (LHCRC).

At the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he has helped establish e-courts by video linking the Principal Seat of the Supreme Court with all the Provincial Registries of the Supreme Court, which has helped save travel cost to Islamabad from all over the country and  has brought relief to the working schedule of the lawyers who can attend to more cases, work more efficiently by avoiding adjournments. This was done prior to Covid-19 and has attained exceptional utility during the pandemic. The new SC Judicial Mobile Application helps lawyers and litigants navigate their way through the cause lists and court rosters and have enhanced their access to justice.  Research and scholarship are the hallmarks of any apex court in the country, hence Research Centre (SCRC) at the SC building was established, manned by bright and promising Civil Judges from all across Pakistan.  SCRC carries the vision to eventually provide and support research to all the courts in the country, thereby enriching our jurisprudence and scholarship of our judges.

Justice Shah is an accredited mediator from CEDR, London; an Honorary Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn, UK; a judicial member of the Global Judicial Institute on Environment (GJIE) (Brazil); a member of the Global Constitutionalism (Yale University, 2020-   ) and a Member of the Rhodes Scholarship Committee for Pakistan (2019-    ).  He is an avid golfer, loves sports and enjoys reading and music.

 

[1] All the three partners were successively elevated to the Bench and the law firm was dissolved.