Zahra Viani first Pakistani woman lawyer to be elected member of Lincoln Inn Bar panel
Says she keeps herself away from politics as Pakistani bars are very political
November 17, 2022 10:19 AM
Pakistan's Barrister Zahra Viani has been elected a member of the Committee of Representatives of Lincoln's Inn Bar; she is the first Pakistani woman to be elected to this committee and she will be part of this body for four years. She had studied at the same institution.
Lincoln's Inn Bar's Representation Committee plays a prominent representative role, with committee members mostly sitting on bench committees that express their opinions on issues such as the organization's property management, finance and investment, as well as education, admissions, and scholarship.
The committee meets six times a year to discuss these issues.
Lincoln is one of the world's best-known and oldest educational institutions. Prominent graduates of this institution of law include Pakistan's founder Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former prime ministers of Britain Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, among many important international lawyers.
According to Barrister Zahra Viani, there were 19 candidates from all over the world, including Britain and Pakistan, the total number of voters was 1,300 but 1,100 votes were cast and these elections were held through online voting.
‘It was difficult but not impossible’
Barrister Zahra Viani says that Lincoln's had to work very hard to get votes in his election. "Many of the women lawyers are not even barristers, but they helped, they ran their campaigns on social media, made online contacts, called people, it was very difficult to beat someone and win, but it was not impossible. ‘
She says she is grateful to those who voted and supported her and who considered her eligible for their vote.
She said, "The purpose of contesting my election was that a soft image of Pakistan will come, the other will also be our representative in this important institution because a lot of young people from Pakistan and South Asia go to bar at law, there we want to promote scholarships so that those who are deserving students can be helped."
She says, "Due to the big problem of climate change nowadays, we are also affected, which is the international law, it also applies to us, starting a dialogue on it, doing seminars, calling our judges there and calling the representatives there so that these issues can be discussed."
Business family relationship and advocacy
Barrister Zahra Viani belongs to a business family of Karachi where she received her early education from the Convent of Jazz and Mary and Bay view High School Karachi and did LLB from the University of Manchester.
After three years of barristership, she has also advocated in the UK.
"My father passed away," she says. Growing up in the family, I had to come here to help my mother and two younger brothers and have been practising in Pakistan for the last 11 years.
According to Zahra Viani, she started her own firm, which was her dream. And she says that she did everything on her own, did not get recommendation from anyone, but achieved this position through hard work.
"I deal in property, labour, family and criminal cases. At the same time, I provide free legal aid to deserving low-income women.”
Zahra Viani says that whether it is world politics or Britain's Lincolns these times, she keeps herself away from politics. Pakistani bars, she says, are very political.
She says she does not belong to any political party, but she heads the Women Lawyers Association.–BBC