New regional institute for legal, human rights launched

In the media Sangbad Sangstha, New Age, Dhaka, Bangladesh - 14th October 2008

A NEW regional legal and human rights organisation named South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (SAILS) was launched in Dhaka to promote the sharing of experiences on legal and human rights affairs.

Former chief Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, who is also former chief adviser to the caretaker government, inaugurated the SAILS at Spectra Convention Centre at Gulshan Monday evening.

With Dr Kamal Hossain, noted lawyer, president of Gana Forum and chairman of the SAILS, in the chair, the function was addressed by Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, vice-chancellor of BRAC University; ambassador Madanjeet Singh, UNESCO Goodwill ambassador and founder chairman of South Asia Foundation; Dr Deepika Udagama, head of School of Law of University of Colombo in Sri Lanka; and Dr Sharif Bhuiyan, acting director of the SAILS.

Quoting Poet Rabindranath Tagore, Justice Habibur Rahman said the rule of law was essential for enjoying freedom and Bangladesh was lacking behind in this regard.

Announcing the inauguration of the SAILS, he said, "This is a great day when we are taking a new initiative which would grow as a centre of excellence to assist the younger generation for establishing the rule of law".

Terming the SAILS the hallmark for promoting experiences on South Asian legal framework and culture, Madanjeet Singh said the institute was going to start its journey here in a crisis moment of Bangladesh.

Deepika Udagama observed that there is a huge gape of legal education among the South Asian courtiers and the SAILS would provide opportunities for providing training to lawyers on this perspective.

Dr Kamal Hossain said this was a response to the felt need for an institution where lawyers and practitioners could share their experiences and insights and enrich regional jurisprudence, so as to help meet the challenges faced by the country's legal system.

Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury gave brief background of the SAILS and its relations with BRAC University.