Politics -- Corruption Nexus in Bangladesh: An Empirical Study of the Impacts on Judicial Governance
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The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) has published a new book titled "Politics -- Corruption Nexus in Bangladesh: An Empirical Study of the Impacts on Judicial Governance". The book -- written by Md. Shariful Islam, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Dhaka -- presented an overview of the basic institutions that are directly linked to the rule of law and criminal justice system, especially the Subordinate Judiciary of the country.
The book observes, "No matter what form of corruption takes place in the judiciary of Bangladesh, political factors play a huge part in terms of the origin, development and practices of corruption. Government must take a holistic approach to the problems and undertake a thorough reformation of the existing systems without any further delay. The Subordinate Judiciary of Bangladesh has yet to develop as an effective institution under the status quo. This is so even after its separation from the executive branch. It is one of the most neglected institutions of the State having only minimum facilities. In upholding the rule of law, in maintaining law and order, in protecting fundamental human rights and in building up a strong check and balance system in the State organs, the judiciary should be rescued directly and with all due speed, from its status of vulnerability."
In a list of identified problems the book observes:
- "Local touts and persons with vested interests can exploit the man/woman on the street by using their ignorance of the judicial process, as an opportunity for their own personal gain."
- "Innocent persons are victimized by political leaders or activists through false cases and especially in counter cases."
- "People use every means to avoid lodging their cases in a police station because of the possibility of endless police harassment."
- "Police do not record genuine cases because of political considerations or because their demands for money were refused."
It recommends to the Government concerned:
- "In every fiscal year ensure submission of mandatory wealth statement for the judicial officers, police personnel, lawyers, court staff, and their family members. Confiscate the illegally amassed wealth and take due legal actions immediately. Political leadership must start a screening among themselves, and then take a holistic approach involving all its different sectors."
- "Take steps immediately to ensure the separation of the judiciary from the executive organ of the State. Appointments, promotions, postings should be controlled by the Supreme Court without interference from the government secretariat. Establish a separate secretariat under the control and leadership of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh with adequate powers and capacity to communicate directly with the President."
- "Accept and implement the proposal for separate pay scales and benefits for the judges."
- "Establish additional courts with additional posts and appoint sufficient number of judges on a regular basis."
- "Enhance training standard for the judicial officers, and ensue as trainers, not politically chosen persons, but persons with high morale and commitment to equity, justice and human rights. Also encourage training and education abroad for judicial officers by relaxing restrictions."
- "Increase salary and other benefits of the police, and introduce a handsome amount of risk-allowance. Ensure an effective financial security for the family members of police personnel if he comes under attack/ dies while discharging duties."
The book urged the judges community to "Ensure timely and early disposal of orders in the court" and not to "entertain telephone calls from, or meet, political leaders, if not relevant."
The lawyers-community is urged to provide the clients with a receipt of the payment they have collected from the clients.
The police are recommended to:
- "Develop as an institution in the true sense of it. Ensure professionalism and commitment to uphold rule of law and justice in the society. "
- "Ignore political influence and pressures, thereby establishing dignity of the police force."
- "Register only genuine cases, rather than politically fabricated ones, thereby upholding a clean image of the police force."
- "Make sure torture, extra-judicial killings or any other inhuman or degrading treatment do not take place to the persons under police custody."
There are also recommendations for the litigants and the international community in the book, which is an outcome of an ALRC-supported empirical research project.
Published in February 2010 by the Asian Legal Resource Centre; 126 pages, Language: English, ISBN: 978-962-8161-08-9, PID: ALRC-PUB-001-2011
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