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  High Court Issues Rule Nisi seeking Explanation on Provision on Marital History of Women in Kabin-Nama
High Court Issues Rule Nisi seeking Explanation on Provision on Marital History of Women in Kabin-Nama
 
On 14 September, 2014 the High Court (HC) issued a rule asking several government authorities to explain why the entry no. 5 in Forms No. 1600 and 1601 (kabin-nama) should not be declared to be without lawful authority and of no legal effect being discriminatory against women on the grounds of sex, in violation of Articles 28, 31 and 32 of the Constitution.

The impugned forms require only the bride to make a statement as to her marital status, specifically stating whether she is virgin /widowed/divorced. (??????/ ?????/?????????????)


The respondents to the writ were Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Secretary, Ministry of Religion Affairs, Deputy Director, Bangladesh Forms and Publications Office and Director General, Department of Printing and Publications.
 

A Division Bench, comprising of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Md. Jahangir Hossain passed the order upon hearing a writ petition filed in the public interest by the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Naripokkho and Bangladesh Mahila Parishad.

The Court asked the respondents to explain in four weeks why they should not be directed to amend the kabin-nama by omitting the use of the word “??????” in respect of brides and to ensure the information in the kabib-nama regarding marital status of grooms as well.

he Court also asked the Government to give explanation as to why they should not be directed to impose a mandatory requirement for both the bride and groom to affix their respective photos to these forms, at the time of registration of marriage.
 
The petitioners’ lawyer submitted that the provision contained in entry No. 5 in the said Forms is in conflict with the Constitutional rights of citizens, in particular, the prohibition on discrimination on grounds of sex, and the right to be treated in accordance with law, as guaranteed under Articles 27, 28, 31 and 32 of the Constitution.
 
Advocate Aynunnahar Siddiqa conducted the hearing for the petitioners. Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Barrister Md. Akmal Hossain  and Advocate Mehbuba Jui assisted her. Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman appeared for the State.

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Leading jurists call for dialogue: Criticise 'hasty move' to amend constitution


A number of leading jurists yesterday stressed the need for a dialogue between all concerned before the constitution is amended to empower parliament to remove Supreme Court judges for misconduct and incapacity.

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Impeachment bill tabled


The government yesterday placed a constitutional amendment bill in parliament seeking to restore the Jatiya Sangsad's authority to impeach a Supreme Court judge on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity.

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  UK Court Rulings Show Move Away From European to Common Law

UK Supreme court deputy president questions whether return to constitutionalism is response to rise in anti-European sentiment

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  Remarks of some judges and jurists on parliament's authority to impeach Supreme Court judges


Some former chief justices and jurists at a meeting of the parliamentary body for constitutional amendment on April 24, 2011, strongly opposed restoring parliament's power to impeach judges by scraping the current supreme judicial council system. Some of them also informed the committee about the anxiety and fear among the apex court judges over the then move. On the basis of the meeting proceedings, Shakhawat Liton picks brief remarks of some judges and jurists on the issue.

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  High Court Division annuls the Contempt of Court Act, 2013
The Division Bench of Mr. Justice Quazi Reza-ul Hoque and Mr. Justice ABM Altaf Hossain declared the Contempt of Court Act, 2013 as annulled as the law was enacted only to protect journalists and public servants.

Source: Dhaka Tribune 

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  Odhikar Update
For further update on Adv. Adilur Rahman's case, please visit: http://odhikar.org.

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  Update from Odhikar
Odhikar fears further crackdown by government. For more information visit: http://odhikar.org.

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  Odhikar's Press Release
Odhikar's Press Release regarding the 61 victims of 5-6 May 2013 at http://odhikar.org.

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  Odhikar's Statement
Odhikar releases statement on Adv. Adilur Rahman Khan's arrest.

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  Advocate Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary of Odhikar (http://odhikar.org) arrested

Source: bdnews24.com and Odhikar


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  Parliament passes Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2013
A total of 87 sections of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 have been amended.

News Source: The Dhaka Tribune

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National Conference on Collection of Medical Evidence in Rape Cases: Practices, Procedures & Policies



Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) with the support of the Growing Up Safe and Healthy (SAFE) Project will hold a National Conference on `Collection of Medical Evidence in Rape Cases : Policies, Practices and Procedures` at the icddr,b Sasakawa Auditorium, Mohakhali, Dhaka on 2 February 2013 between 9.30am to 4.30pm. 

The Conference will bring together experts including legal and medical professionals, police and women`s rights activists to - Review current laws, policies, practices and procedures governing the collection of medico-legal evidence in cases of rape; Identify gaps in law or practice preventing effective prosecution of such cases; and Develop recommendations for reform to enforce the rights of women and girls who are victims/ survivors of rape. 

 Conference Concept Note Attached.

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Vertex Chambers Annual Mooting Competition 2012



Vertex Chambers arranged its inaugural Mooting Competition on the 13th and 19th of October 2012. This was the first time that such a competition was arranged by any law firm in Bangladesh and also the first time that a mooting competition was arranged on the subject of corporate and commercial law. Participants included Brac University School of Law, Southeast University Department of Law, London College of Legal Studies (South) and Newcastle Law Academy. 

The Competition was judged by two Justices of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, namely Dr. Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Madam Justice Farah Mahbub and also Barrister Tanjib Ul Alam, Barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan,  Barrister Sameer Sattar and Barrister Karishma Jahan.

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  Global Arbitration Review, a leading arbitration publication features Barrister Sameer Sattar.


Global Arbitration Review, a leading arbitration publication has in its article "Volterra Fietta lawyer sets up shop in Bangladesh" featured Mr. Sameer Sattar's, Barrister-at-Law move to set up practise in Bangladesh. Barrister Sameer Sattar is a regular Contributor to Think Legal Bangladesh.  

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  Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2012 Passed in Parliament

The Parliament on 17 September 2012 passed the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2012, making out-of-court settlement of lawsuits mandatory as an excessive number of civil cases have piled up in the lower courts.

The Law, Justice and Parliament Affairs Minister, Mr. Shafique Ahmed while placing the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2012 on 19 March 2012 in the Jatiya Sangsad said with the passage of the Bill the dilly-dally practices in disposing of all pending civil suits would be reduced considerably.

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  Full judgement of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution Published

The long-awaited full verdict of the Supreme Court invalidating the 13th Amendment that had introduced election-time Caretaker Government was published on 16 September 2012, maintaining the observation that the next two polls could be held under the interim administration. 

In its full judgment the SC declared the Caretaker system illegal, echoing the view in its short verdict published one and a half years ago. The Apex Court, however, said in observation that the next two parliamentary elections could be held under the Caretaker Government in doing away with it `prospectively` in view of the state of security and sovereignty.

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  City Hospital to answer to High Court

The High Court on June 14 asked City Hospital`s Chairman, Managing Director and Mohammadpur Police Station`s Officer-in-Charge to appear before it on 11 July 2012 to give explanation about their conduct in connection with the refusal to hand over the dead body of a newborn to her parents due to the parents` failure to pay the hospital bill.

The bench constituted of Mr. Justice Farid Ahmed and Mr. Justice Zafar Ahmed passed the order after hearing a writ petition on 14 June 2012. The writ petition was filed by The Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh following a newspaper report of 10 June 2012 that a newborn`s body was not handed over to its parents by the City Hospital at Dhanmondi as they failed to pay the money demanded by the hospital.

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  High Court delivers split verdict on Mass Arrest
A High Court Division Bench comprising of Mr. Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Mr. Justice M. Khurshid Alam Sarkar on Sunday, 11 March 2012, delivered split orders on a public interest litigation writ petition challenging the mass arrests and restrictions imposed by the authorities on the right of citizens to move freely ahead of Monday`s (12 March 2012) nationwide opposition programme of march in Dhaka. The matter was then referred to the Chief Justice for reference to a third judge.

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  IFC to assist Bangladesh Bank and Ministry of Finance in updating the FERA 1947

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group has agreed to extend its cooperation in updating the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA). The Government has recently sought assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to amend the forex act (FERA).

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has earlier proposed some amendments to the FERA and requested the Finance Ministry to seek assistance from IFC. Experts, top businessmen, industrialists, investors and bankers have long been demanding reforms in the FERA that was passed by the British Government in 1947, a period when there was no internet, online transactions and back-to-back LC.

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  Court denies bail to 33 opposition leaders

A Dhaka court on 16 May 2012 ordered into jail BNP's Acting Secretary General, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and 32 other high-profile opposition leaders after denying their bail prayers in connection with an arson case. 
The leaders appealed for bail after surrendering at the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in the morning.

Earlier on 7 May 2012, the leaders accused in the case filed with Tejgoan Police Station, Dhaka appeared before the High Court seeking bail. A two-member High Court Bench delivered dissenting orders on seven bail petitions. Chief Justice Mr. Md. Muzammel Hossain referred the case to a third High Court Bench on 10 May 2012 for its final disposal. The third Bench on 13 May 2012, ordered the 37 accused leaders to surrender before the trial court.

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   Legal Maxims

audi alteram partem : no man shall be condemned unheard.

in limine : at the outset.

void ab initio : null from the beginning.

per incuriam : (of a judicial decision) wrongly decided, usually because the judge or judges were ill-informed of the applicable law.

ex facie : on the face of it; evidently; apparently.

ad hoc : formed for a particular purpose.

ad interim : in the meantime; temporarily.

mutatis mutandis : all necessary changes having been made; with the necessary changes.

pari passu : proportionally; at an equal pace; without preference.

locus poenitentiae: the opportunity of withdrawing from a projected contract, before the parties are finally bound

bona fide : made in good faith; without fraud or deceit; sincere; genuine.

mala fide : dishonesty of belief or purpose.

obiter dictum : a judicial comment made while delivering a judicial opinion; but one that is unnecessary to the decision in the case and therefore not precedential.

onus probandi : burden of proof.

cestui que trust : one who possesses equitable rights in property.

inter vivos : of or relating to property conveyed not by will or in contemplation of an imminent death, but during the conveyor’s lifetime.

pendente lite : during litigation.

ex post facto : with retroactive affect or force; in light of subsequent events.

non est factum : a plea that a written agreement is invalid because the defendant was mistaken about its character when signing it.

Fumus boni iuris : presumption of sufficient legal basis.

per contra : on the contrary.

ipso facto : because of that fact.

Tout ce que la loi ne defend pas est permis : Everything is permitted, which is not forbidden by law.