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Aisha Anwar: Scotland’s first female Sheriff Principal(Judge) of Pakistani origin

Fiaz Rahim

The British province of Scotland is considered to be of special importance due to its unique history. This province has its own distinct identity, which fought many wars with countries like England to maintain its independent status, but ultimately, on May 1, 1707, it Under the agreement, the people of Scotland can use it to restore their independence whenever they want to withdraw from the agreement with a majority vote. Also, its ruler and Prime Minister, Nichola Sturgeon, is demanding a second referendum for independence. According to the survey, the number of people in favour of independence is much higher this time. Nothing can be said about the direction the situation will take. This is the reason why the eyes of the world are always focused on Scotland along with the local community. The Pakistani Scottish community also participates heavily in politics and they seem to give a lot of arguments in favour of and against independence.
Alex Salmond, the former leader of the Scottish National Party, was particularly famous for having special connections with the Pakistani community, and now the party’s ruler and first minister, Nichola Sturgeon is also maintaining her party’s tradition of Scottish Pakistanis. – Along with the government machinery of the country, there is probably no institution or sector in the country in which Pakistanis are not fully represented. The children who were born and raised in this country have achieved such achievements that it is difficult to find their example – they not only their parents. The family and the Pakistani community, but also the name of their country, Pakistan have been enlightened in such a way that we all should be proud of them, but most of the time, these personalities are not treated in the way that is their right.
The article about Ms. Aisha Anwar is the first link in the series that “AIMS International” has started to introduce such dignified personalities of the community to its readers.
Aisha Anwar is the daughter of Edinburgh’s famous and leading socialite Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqub. Her father belongs to Chak No. 325, a village near Faisalabad Punjab, Pakistan. He had to say goodbye to education, which he still regrets today. He started struggling to improve the financial condition of the family and decided to come to Britain to try his luck and came to Britain in 1960 – he settled in Huddersfield, England and worked very hard in factories for a long time. He moved to Scotland in 1976 and settled in Edinburgh, he entered groceries business, the God was kind the business grew double and quadrupled day and night and he few Years later, he started to be counted among the famous businessmen of Edinburgh. He also took part in charitable works for the community and played a very important role in buying the first and only one community car for the Pakistani community in Edinburgh. Treasurer of the Association Edinburgh and East of Scotland Chaudhry Yaqoob, who was also performing the duties of the president for a long time in this centre of interest, has been blessed by Allah with eight daughters who have earned a name in various fields by getting higher education. Ms Aisha Anwar is very proud of her achievements, she is the fifth daughter, she was born in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Ayesha has created history by reaching the post of Sheriff Principal, she is the first Pakistani and probably the first Asian woman to reach this position. Aisha’s ability can be gauged from the fact that a statute related to family law was changed in accordance with one of her initiatives, so her name will live forever in the history of the judiciary of Scotland.

Parents of Aisha Anwar


While dealing with a very complicated case in which a distance was created between the mother and the children after the separation of the father, he wrote a letter to his young children and directly contacted them and told them why the court was taking this step. It was the first incident of its kind in the country and only after that the need to change the law was felt
Aisha Anwar received her primary education from Edinburgh’s Portbello High School and then joined the University of Edinburgh for her higher education. After her LLB honours she admitted in Oxford University from where she obtained a higher degree of law.
Later, she got traineeship with a big law firm in Scotland, during the same traineeship, she made excellent progress in the legal field and in just a few years, she became a well-known and respected figure in business law. An international law firm offered to make her a partner, which she accepted. Aisha continued her journey of success. She was invited by various universities to give lectures to their law students. Aisha Anwar made part-time sheriff in 2011 and became resident sheriff of Glasgow Sheriff Court in 2014 along with that, she was also a family law and commercial law sheriff. She was also appointed a member of the Scottish Court and Tribunal Services Board in 2018.
She has written many articles on various aspects of law and openly expressed herself on other topics of law. Aisha Anwar was made Sheriff Principal South Strathclyde Dumfries and Galloway in 2020 for her outstanding services in the field of law with which she made not only her family proud but also the name of Pakistan. There are currently only six Sheriff Principals in Scotland. The Sheriff Principal is the head of administrative head of various courts and her job is to deal with appeals made in any department related to these courts.
When Queen Elizabeth the II has died last year, her coffin was kept in Scotland before being moved to London. A ceremony for the appointment of a new king, called a proclamation, was held in Motherwell, Scotland, so this historic occasion Aisha Anwar was chosen to speak at the ceremony, in which she announced the appointment of the new king of Great Britain, King Charles the Third. Delivered the message which is a great honour indeed.
Ms. Aisha Anwar, besides fulfilling her heavy responsibilities in the field of law, she also living a successful married life with her husband and family. She said, “I am thankful to Allah for my success, and I owe this to my parents, who have given me unwavering support and self-confidence since my childhood till now.”

A Brief introduction of Aisha Anwar
Aisha Anwar was born in Pakistan before her family moved to Scotland. She attended Portobello High School in Edinburgh where she became School Dux and went on to study Law at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities. Aisha then began a traineeship with a large Scottish firm and proceeded to make remarkable progress in her legal career. Within a few years, she was dealing with highly complex business disputes and had become a Partner with an international law firm. Aisha has also lectured to university law students, written many articles and spoken widely on a wide range of legal topics. In 2011, she was appointed as a Sheriff and now focuses largely on her judicial work. During her career fellow lawyers have described Aisha as “brilliant” and “sensitive”, and her preparation for court as “second to none”.
Aisha was appointed Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway in April 2020. She was appointed as a part-time sheriff in 2011 and a resident sheriff at Glasgow Sheriff Court in 2014 and has been a designated family law and commercial law sheriff. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh (LLB Hons) in 1996 and from the University of Oxford (Bachelor of Civil Law) in 1998. She joined Maclay Murray and Spens in 1998 as a trainee, was admitted as a solicitor in 2000 and became an associate in 2003. From 2009 to 2012 she became a partner and head of litigation for Scotland in a global law firm. She co-authored the Civil Bench Book for Sheriffs on behalf of the Judicial Institute and was appointed to the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service Board in 2018.
In 2017, she provided a letter to the children involved in a contact dispute (Patrick v Patrick), which explained her decision in plain simple language. It was praised by those working in family law and featured in a performance of Letters Live during the Edinburgh International Festival.
It may be asked whether the sheriff principal is the judge? Yes, the Sheriffs Principal are always given a judicial title, and are always addressed by their judicial title. In court they are addressed as either my Lord or my Lady and the legal cases which are heard within the Courts are dealt with by a Sheriff. A Sheriff is a Judge who is usually assigned to work in a specific Court, although some work as ‘floating Sheriffs’, who may work anywhere in Scotland. So, Aisha Anwar has become the first judge of Pakistani origin in the history of Scotland, which is certainly a matter of pride of Pakistanis.
“Aims International” has conducted an interview with her, the details of which is briefly presented to our readers.

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