Australian Journal: Bangladesh has ‘serious weaknesses’ in enacting laws and implementation

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Legal scholars through their research articles argued that Bangladesh’s laws are mostly poorly drafted, and public participation is often sidestepped in the lawmaking process while problems are further deepened by poor enforcement and compliance

Bangladesh
Photo: Collected

The Australian Journal of Asian law, a peer-reviewed journal of Melbourne University, has published a special issue, exclusively dedicated to legal aspects of Bangladesh, highlighting the country’s ‘serious weaknesses’ in enacting laws and their implementation.

Legal scholars through their research articles argued that Bangladesh’s laws are mostly poorly drafted, and public participation is often sidestepped in the lawmaking process while problems are further deepened by poor enforcement and compliance.

Critically examining the challenges and opportunities of the selected aspects of laws, all articles concluded that Bangladesh needs to build on the existing laws by undertaking appropriate reforms to steer its laws towards a more sustainable future.

The special issue titled “Law in Bangladesh: Examining Bangladesh’s Legal Responses to the Emerging Law and Policy Issues: Successes, Limitations and Future Direction” was published online on Friday.

Mohammad Sohidul Islam, a Joint District Judge of Bangladesh Judiciary and a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, worked as the guest editor for publishing the special issue of the journal while all the articles were written by Bangladeshi legal experts who are currently staying in different countries.

A series of articles dealing with vital areas of the current laws were carefully selected for the special issue, which broadly cover four key themes — constitutional discourse, environmental protection, access to justice and law and policy reform.

The special issue underscored key reforms and brought forth the issues for policy attention that include ensuring public participation and deliberation in adopting laws like constitutional amendment, transforming tort liability into the domain of public law compensation, embedding a better regulatory underpinning for sustainable groundwater irrigation, controlling noise pollution in Dhaka through the lens of the constitutional right to life’, making the environment courts functional to ensure environmental justice across the country, promoting women’s right to access to justice through the enhanced use of public interest litigation, and reforming anti-terrorism laws to tackle wide-ranging terrorist activities more effectively.

Talking to UNB, Mohammad Sohidul Islam said this is perhaps the first issue of an international, refereed law journal exclusively dedicated to legal issues in Bangladesh.

He said although Bangladesh has a vast body of laws that makes it a fertile ground for scholarly research, it remains largely underrepresented in the legal literature rendering it inaccessible to a wider audience.

“Through this special issue of the journal, Bangladesh’s important legal issues have been highlighted for drawing the attention of the local and international experts. We hope it’ll help encourage a greater attention to the vital ‘next steps’ in Bangladesh’s law reform journey and, perhaps, the energy to take those steps, too,” Sohidul added.

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