Iftikhar Chaudhry, the head of Pakistan's Supreme Court who helped oust President Pervez Musharraf in 2008, is retiring.
The powerful chief justice is credited with promoting human rights in Pakistan and bringing independence to the judiciary.
But he is also accused of taking partisan positions considered unacceptable for top judges.
Appointed by Musharraf in 2005, Chaudhry held street protests against the military ruler three years later, leading to Musharraf's resignation.
He also led the Supreme Court in firing Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in 2012.
The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists said in a report that the Supreme Court under Chaudhry gained "public acclaim for demanding government accountability" but that it "sometimes" acted in a "political and partisan manner."
Chaudhry will be replaced on December 12 by Tassaduq Hussain Jilani.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP