LAHORE: Qazi Faez Isa, Pakistan’s 29th chief justice, stands as a distinguished alum of London’s renowned Middle Temple, one of the four prestigious British Inns of Court with exclusive authority to admit members to the English Bar as barristers.
The trio of companion Inns includes Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, and Inner Temple.
Over the past centuries, numerous eminent individuals who would later ascend to roles as global statesmen, prime ministers, presidents, chief justices, monarchs, chief ministers, governors, mayors, and other eminent pursued their law education at the esteemed Middle Temple.
Some of the names include King Edward VII; King Edward VIII; Princess of Wales Lady Diana; Duke of Cambridge Prince William; former British premiers John Major, Boris Johnson and David Cameron; Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew and his wife, Kwa Choo; British Supreme Court judges Simon Brown, Anthony Clarke and Mark Saville; Irish High Court judge Sir Donnell Deeny; Indian Viceroy Rufus Daniel Isaacs; eminent British legislator Geoffrey Howe, former Lord Chief Justices of England and Wales, Igor Judge, Alfred Lawrence and Sir Nicholas Hyde; President of British Supreme Court, Nicholas Phillips, Chief Minister West Bengal, Jyoti Basu, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, Sir Andrew Fraser, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Sir Anthony Hart, Chief Justice of the United States, John Rutledge; former London Mayor Sir Peter Estlin; and first home minister and deputy prime minister of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
Other distinguished names comprise Hong Kong’s first chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Andrew Li, Hong Kong’s judge of Final Appeal Kemal Bokhary; Thailand’s former premiers, Sanya Dharmasakti, Pote Sarasin, and Phraya Manopakorn; ex-Chief Justice Allahabad High Court Sir John Edge; former judge of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago Andre Mon Desir; speaker of the National Assembly of Mauritius Alan Ganoo; first Indian Governor of Bombay Raja Maharaj Singh; first Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Sir Lynden Pindling; President of African National Congress Pixley Seme; second premier of Ceylon, Dudley Senanayake; and former speaker of Indian Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterjee.
Apart from the Middle Temple, the other three Inns of Court such as Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn and Inner Temple have also produced and churned out some magnificent Pakistani personalities like Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, former Pakistani premie/president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former Pakistani president Wasim Sajjad, Pakistani Supreme Court judge Dorab Patel, former chief justice Lahore High Court and Allama Iqbal’s son, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, celebrated Pakistani jurist and politician Aitzaz Ahsan.
Other notable names include Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, British prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, ex-Indian president Shankar Dayal Sharma, Indian union ministers of defence Krishna Menon, and Bhimrao Ambedkar, the former Indian law minister and chief of the committee that drafted the Indian Constitution.