Assessment of Institutional Constraints on Parliamentary Sovereignty in Pakistan


  • Jaleel Ahmed Memon Department of Law, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Jawed Aziz Masudi Department of Law, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of law, Karachi, Pakistan



Parliamentary sovereignty, Institutional constraints, Executive dominance, Judicial activism, Undemocratic trends, Political parties


In this research paper detailed analysis of various factors that impose limitations on parliamentary sovereignty in Pakistan, with a particular emphasis on institutional constraints is presented. The present study presents a qualitative research approach, consisted of historical background, deep study of literature review within the legal framework and leading case laws of apex courts. By this approach the research aims to highlight the fundamental factors that cause hindrances in guaranteeing the supremacy of parliamentary sovereignty in Pakistan. This paper aims at pointing out the reasons which have restricted the autonomy of the Pakistani parliament. Firstly, the dominance of the executive on the legislative branch of the state is considered as the prominent factor limiting the Parliamentary Sovereignty. Secondly, judicial overreach in the name of judicial review is another contributing factor affecting the significance of the Parliamentary Sovereignty in the country. Lastly, the pattern of political parties within the country is based upon ancient age dynastic rules which cause more harm than good under the prevailing circumstances. In the wake of research findings the article comes up with suggestions and recommendations that can strengthen the Parliamentary Sovereignty which will ultimately result into the strong democratic government in Pakistan. The proposed suggestions are consisted of different measures such as actualization of separation of powers, practicing judicial restraints, infusing and sensitizing the real spirit of democracy within political parties and strong accountability amongst all the organs of the State.