Judiciary’s Achilles Heel: Executive Control via Appointment Power

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Economics Department at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS) is organising a talk by Sultan Mehmood titled "Judiciary’s Achilles Heel: Executive Control via Appointment Power"


To what extent does the selection mechanism of the judges impact judicial decision making? We document a substantial increase in judicial independence and reduced case delay in Pakistan, as a result of a 2010 judicial selection reform which changed the selection procedure of the judges from the presidential appointment of the judges to the selection of judges by a judicial commission (consisting of peer judges). Using mandatory retirement age as an instrument for new appointments, we estimate the causal effect of the change in appointment procedure on judicial independence and case delay. Better enforcement of laws regulating land disputes with government agencies is a key mechanism driving these results. We further show that the judges selected by the judicial commission are significantly less likely to be politically active prior to their appointments or receive the controversial “Prime Minister’s Assistance Package” (that awards residential plots to the judges) compared to the judges appointed by the president. (JEL O17, K40, P37)                                 

Speaker’s Bio:

Sultan Mehmood is a doctoral Candidate at the Paris School of Economics (Jury/Advisors: Esther Duflo, Thomas Piketty, Thierry Verdier and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya). His research seeks to understand the workings of formal institutions such as the judiciary and its interaction with formal institutions such as the executive and informal institutions such as religion. His three chapters of the doctoral work looks at how courts are impacted by the executive, religion and the military, respectively. He holds a MPhil and BSc degree in Economics from University of Tilburg in the Netherlands and a MPhil degree in Public Policy and Development at the Paris School of Economics. Previously, he worked as a policy advisor to Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs (Henk Kamp) and worked in the "Science and Innovation Policy" Unit at the research wing of Dutch Ministry of Finance. He has a EDI grant to study courts in developing countries and a doctoral fellowship from the French Ministry of Education.


Thursday, January 31, 2019
A-11, Academic Block, LUMS
3:00 pm
Organized by the Economics department (Brown Bag Series)