On Monday, November 17, 2008, Pakistan’s ousted Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will be in New York to speak at the New York City Bar Association and to accept an Honorary Membership, which is one of the Association’s highest honors. The invitation to receive the award was originally extended to Chaudhry in October 2007, following a unanimous recommendation by the Association’s honors committee a month earlier, but Chaudhry was unable to come to New York to accept the award, since he was detained for several months under house arrest after General Pervez Musharraf’s extraconstitutional suspension of the Pakistan Constitution in November 2007. The New York City Bar ultimately conferred the award in absentia in January 2008, breaking with the Association’s longstanding policy requiring honorees to accept the recognition in person.
Chaudhry is the eighth individual to be conferred honorary membership by the New York City Bar. Prior recipients include former Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, former Chief Justice of India P.N. Bhagwati, and Judge Thomas
Buergenthal of the International Court of Justice.