Bangladesh Chapter - Annual Report 2010

News Dhaka, Bangladesh - 31st December 2010

SAF-Bangladesh Advisory Board Meeting

  • Study the theory and practice of clinical teaching now prevalent in legal education in various jurisdictions.
  • Evaluate the current programs of practical training in the law schools and examine the plans and strategies for their future development.
  • Evolving a syllabus with teaching methods and materials for practical training courses such as trial advocacy, appellate advocacy and professional ethics.
  • Enabling participating teachers to work out syllabi and teaching plans for practical training courses in their respective law schools including techniques of supervision, evaluation, resource generation and integration with the rest of the curriculum.
  • Explore ways and means to involve law students in legal aid programs for supportive services as well as for instructing them on application of professional skills and ethics in live situations.


The ADR course, first of its kind in Bangladesh, has the following objectives:

  • To provide young lawyers with necessary expertise and skills to be able to understand the theory and practice of ADR and apply it in their own practice.
  • To study the existing legal framework of ADR in the context of South Asia’s needs and agenda for judicial reforms.
  • To nurture and develop necessary skills, attitudes and ethical Code of Conduct.
  • To explore possible ways of settlement of disputes in a cost effective and timely manner for enhanced services to litigants.

The 15th meeting of the Advisory Board for SAF Bangladesh Chapter was held on 8 July, 2010 chaired by Dr. Kamal Hossain, Chairperson, SAF-Bangladesh Chapter at Chairperson’s residence.

Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Vice-Chairperson of SAF Bangladesh Chapter, Professor Rehman Sobhan and Ambassador Farooq Sobhan, Members and Mr. Shah Jahan and Mr. Khairul Hasan were present.

The Board approved the Minutes of the 14th Meeting. The Board decided that the Secretary shall prepare a distribution list for Kashmiriyat, SASIA Story and SASHIAR Golpo.

As a new initiative, it was suggested that SAF-Bangladesh Chapter shall seek to promote an exchange programme between educational institutions in the region so that teachers and students could exchange visits for periods of one or two semesters as this would promote better understanding in the region at the people-to-people level.

The courses applied multiple and interactive methodologies and practice exercises, which included:

  • Study of reading materials and preparation of review notes.
  • Lecture-cum-discussion on concept and theories.
  • Individual and group exercises, role play and demonstration.
  • Video-viewing and discussion on different approaches.
  • Field visits and co-operative learning.
  • Researching and writing projects assigned at the beginning of the course.

The valedictory session of the courses was attended by the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Barrister Shafique Ahmed and presided over by MIHRSACL/SAILS Chairperson, Dr. Kamal Hossain.

SAF Madanjeet Singh Group Scholarships

List of Participants of the CLE Course

  1. Md. Mahbubul Hoque
  2. Farzana Afrin
  3. Prabal Chakraborty
  4. Md. Emdadul Haque
  5. Shakhawat Hossain Shamim
  6. Mohammad Golam Sarwar
  7. Abdullah-Al-Monzur Hussain


  1. Chhime Tshoke Dorjee


  1. Shadhiya Adam
  2. Ghaniyya Abdul Ghafoor
  3. Ismail Rasheed
  4. Ahmed Yaameen


  1. Suraj Basnet
  2. Mukesh Dhungana
  List of Participants of the ADR Course


  1. Md. Ershad Ullah
  2. Gazi Md. Aslim Uddin
  3. Mohammad Awlad Hossain
  4. Md. Nazmul Ahad
  5. Md. Mostafizur Rahaman
  6. Mowsumi Akther
  7. Kuheli Sultana
  8. Md. Shamsuddin Masum
  9. Aminul Islam
  10. Saud Hassan
  11. Fazle-Khoda Md. Nazir
  12. Shabbir Ahmad Mukim


  1. Pasang Wangmo


  1. Kiran. C.V
  2. Rohini V Menon
  3. Ali Reja Osmani


  1. Ahmed Abdul Matheen
  2. Hussain Amir
  3. Aishath Samah


  1. Udhab Prasad Bhattarai
  2. Bishnu Mani Adhikari

Sri Lanka

  1. M.M. Piyumi Kumari


Review of Laws Relating to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

MIHRSACL/SAILS, in collaboration with the Law Commission of Bangladesh, has completed a study on the laws related to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Bangladesh.

The study came up with a set of recommendations which have been submitted to the government. The study recommended initiatives at various levels including administrative, legal, judicial and policy levels. 

The recommendations included adoption of a national ADR Policy, setting up a national ADR authority, amendment of the existing laws, inclusion of ADR related courses in the curriculum of law schools and training institutes, creation of facilities to train mediators, etc.   

As part of the activities, three seminars were organized- two at divisional levels (Chittagong and Rajshahi) and the final one in the capital (Dhaka). The seminars had participants of around 100 people representing legal practitioners, judges, judicial officers and academics.

The seminar at Chittagong (on 7 August 2010) was attended by the then Chief Justice of Bangladesh, Mr. Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim and the then Law Commission Chairman, Mr. Justice Abdur Rashid among others.

The second workshop at Rajshahi (on 18 October 2010) was attended by Supreme Court Judges – Mr. Justice M. Mozzamel Haque and Mr. Justice S. K. Sinha and MIHRSACL/SAILS Chairperson, Dr. Kamal Hossain.

The national seminar in Dhaka (on 25 October 2010) was attended by the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Barrister Shafique Ahmed and judges from the Supreme Court of Bangladesh among others. MIHRSACL/SAILS Chairperson, Dr. Kamal Hossain, also attended the seminar.    

Study on Personal Laws

MIHRSACL/SAILS is conducting a study with an aim to combating gender injustices (CGI) in personal laws in Bangladesh.
As part of this, Hindu and Christian personal laws and Muslim Law on adoption are being studied. This project, funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka, is scheduled to be completed by March 2011.  

III. Seminars and Lecture Series

MIHRSACL aims to be a platform for practitioners and academics in the area of law and human rights. To facilitate interactions amongst practitioners and academics from Bangladesh and other countries, MIHRSACL has been hosting lecture series.

Lecture on war crimes and international law

Prof. Philippe Sands, QC, a renowned international lawyer presented a lecture on “War Crimes, Impunity and Accountability: International Legal Perspectives” at the Supreme Court Bar Association Auditorium on March 2010. It was jointly organised by the Department of Law at the University of Dhaka and MIHRSACL/SAILS.

Mr. Sands, a Barrister and Professor of International Law, is widely respected for his integrity and eloquent and poignant criticism of the US and UK governments regarding the invasion of Iraq and the use of torture at Guantanamo Bay and the Abu Ghraib prisons.

The event was moderated by Professor Asif Nazrul of the Department of Law at the University of Dhaka; panel discussants were Professor Sumaiya Khair, Chairperson of the Department of Law at the University of Dhaka, Professor M. Shah Alam, the then Member (currently Chairman) of the Law Commission and Barrister Sara Hossain.

The event was attended by an audience of over 350 lawyers, judges, government officials, diplomats, NGO-representatives, law students and journalists.

The event got a wide coverage in the national media.

Lecture on Restorative Justice:

Dr. John Braithwaite, Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) gave a lecture on “Restorative Justice, Crime and Peace Building” on December 2, 2010.

Dr. Braithwaite in his hour long deliberation discussed the concept, method, and techniques of Restorative Justice. He observed that Restorative Justice could be an effective instrument in bringing in and offering justice in conflict situations. Detailing his experiences, he referred to the Restorative Justice System in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Professor John Braithwaite of Australian National University is speaking on “Restorative, Crime and Peace Building” at MIHRSACL (2 December 2010).

Dr. Hameeda Hossain, eminent human rights activist, Dr. Nayanika Mookherjee, Lecturer of Lancaster University, United Kingdom, Md. Hedayetul Islam Chowdhury, Executive Director of Bangladesh
Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR), Barrister Kamruzzaman Shadhin, Head of the Department of Law at Daffodil International University, Rezanur Rahman Lenin, a law student at the
University of Dhaka participated in the open discussions.  

The lecture was attended by 50 participants representing legal practitioners, academics, human rights activists among others.

Lecture on Human Rights and Development

Professor Dr. Yubaraj Sangroula, Executive Director of Kathmandu School of Law delivered a lecture on “Human Rights and Development” on 27 December 2010. Dr. Sangroula discussed the links between human rights and individuals’ rights to development. It was attended by 35 legal and human rights academics, practitioners, and law students.

Scheduled Lectures

Two visiting faculties from Macquarie University in Australia will give lectures on 3 January 2011.

Dr. Shawkat Alam will make his presentation on "Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Development: Is Development the Missing Link?" while Professor M. Rafiqul Islam will speak on "Terrorism, and Counter -Terrorism under International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law."

IV. Advocacy for Reform in Legal and Human Rights Education

MIHRSACL is taking initiatives to establish network with law schools in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka and advocating reform in legal and human rights education, and introduction of best practices.

In this connection, MIHRSACL has organized a day-long workshop on Teaching Law on 20 December 2010. It was attended by 26 faculty members from law schools in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Chairperson of MIHRSACL, Dr. Kamal Hossain is speaking at the workshop on teaching law (20 December 2010).

Dr. Kamal Hossain, eminent jurist and Chairperson of MIHRSACL, Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor M. Shah Alam, Chairman of Law Commission, Professor Zakir Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Chittagong and Member Judicial Service Commission, Professor Dr. Yubaraj Sangroula, Executive Director of Kathmandu School of Law (KSL), Dr. Naim Ahmed, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, and Dr. Uttam Kumar Das, Deputy Director of MIHRSACL conducted different sessions. Dr. Sharif Bhuiyan, Member, Governing Council of MIHRSACL/SAILS gave vote of thanks.

The workshop found following limitations in existing legal education in Bangladesh: age-old curriculum, theory-based and non-practical teaching methods, inadequate provisions to increase students analytical and critical thinking capacities, lack of effective relations among the legal practitioners and academics, lack of monitoring mechanism over law schools from the Bar Council, lack of resources, incentives, and motivations for research works and publications, lack of initiatives both at public and private sectors to standardize the legal education, etc.

MIHRSACL will be organizing two regional seminars on “Ethics in Legal Profession,” and “Legal Education in South Asia” in Dhaka on 15 and 16 January 2011, respectively.

MIHRSACL’ Deputy Director, Dr. Uttam Kumar Das (who joined in August 2010) has been publishing articles and opinion columns in national dailies and weeklies (i.e., The Daily Star, the Daily Sun, PROBE News Magazine). Links of few articles are:

Pondicherry University

A total of 15 (fifteen) applications were received for the SAF Madanjeet scholarship for two-year postgraduate course at the Centre for South Asian Studies, Pondicherry University, India.

Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Vice-Chairperson of SAF Bangladesh and Dr. Abdur Rob Khan, Member, SAF-Bangladesh interviewed the candidates. Mr. Abiderdar Md. Abdujjaher of Jahangirnagar University and Ms. Natasha Israt Kabir of the same university were selected for the 2010-11 programme. An announcement in the form of advertisement was published in two prominent newspapers, The Daily Star and the Prothom Alo, for the SAF Madanjeet Scholarship programme.

Asian College of Journalism (ACJ)

It was decided by Dr. Kamal Hossain, Chairperson, SAF–Bangladesh that Mr. Mahfuz Anam, Member, SAF-Bangladesh Chapter and Editor, The Daily Star, would review applications for the SAF Madanjeet Scholarship on postgraduate diploma 2010-2011 in Asian College of Journalism.

Out of 34 applicants, Mr. Hashim Uddin Ahammed, senior sub-editor of online agency, and Ms. Masuma Sarmin Sumi of the University of Dhaka were selected for the scholarship.  However, finally they could not join the programme due to visa complexities.

SAF Publications Distribution:

In addition to the Hindi and Urdu editions, ‘Kashmiriyat’ is also under print in Bangla and English editions by the University Press Limited in Dhaka. The book along with SASIA Story and SASHIAR Golpo were distributed free of cost at all public and community libraries across Bangladesh.

SAARC Charter Day Celebration:

SAF Bangladesh Chapter organized a seminar on 13 December 2010 to commemorate the 17th SAARC Charter Day at the auditorium of Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (BILIA) in Dhaka. 
Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Vice-Chairman of SAF-Bangladesh Chapter presided over the meeting. SAF member Professor Rehman Sobhan presented a keynote paper at the seminar.

Professor Rehman Sobhan (extreme right) is presenting his key-note paper.

It was addressed by Dr. Kamal Hossain, Chairperson of SAF-Bangladesh Chapter, Dr. Q. M. A. Rahim, Former Secretary General of SARRC, Ms. Nasim Ferdous, Former Ambassador, Professor Shamsher Ali, Former Vice-Chancellor of Southeast University and Dr Shahdeen Malik, Director of BILIA.

Madanjeet Singh Institute of Human Rights and South Asian Common Law (“MIHRSACL”)/South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (“SAILS”).

A Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding (“Supplemental MOU”) between the South Asia Foundation (“SAF”), the South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (“SAILS”) and Madanjeet Singh Institute of Human Rights and South Asian Common Law (“MIHRSACL”) was signed on 23 September, 2010. Under the Supplemental MOU it was agreed to restructure SAILS as the SAILS Law University of South Asia (“SAILS University”) and to rename the Madanjeet Singh Centre as the Madanjeet Singh Institute of Human Rights and South Asian Common Law (“MIHRSACL”). Upon signature of the Supplemental MOU, MIHRSACL has replaced the Madanjeet Singh Centre established under the MOU between SAF and SAILS dated 26 December, 2006.

MIHRSACL/SAILS undertook the following activities in 2010:

I. Training Programmes on Clinical Legal Education (CLE) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

MIHRSACL/SAILS organized two separate month-long residential training courses on Clinical Legal Education (CLE) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from 29 May 2010 to 29 June 2010 at BRAC Center for Development and Management at Rajendrapur, Gazipur.

Barrister Shafique Ahmed (third from left), Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh along with other guests at the valedictory session of CLE and ADR Courses (28 June 2010).

The two Certificate Courses were designed and conducted by renowned jurists, judges, legal academics, and practitioners from the region. Dr. Kamal Hossain, Professor Dr. N. R. Madhava Menon, Founder Director of National Law School of India, Professor Dr. Yubaraj Sangroula, Executive Director of Kathmandu School of Law, Professor M. Shah Alam, currently Chairman of the Law Commission, and Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman, the then Honourary Executive Director of MIHRSACL, and currently the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission were among the resource persons for the courses.

The CLE course was for young legal academics and the ADR course was for practitioners and judges. A total of 14 and 22 participants attended in the CLE and ADR courses, respectively. They were from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, and were selected on a competitive basis by an expert committee.

The CLE course has the following objectives:

II. Research Activities

V. Networking

MIHRSACL has been initiating networking with academic institutions (law schools and training centers) and human rights organizations in Bangladesh and in the region.

It has hosted a group of 27 law students from Kathmandu School of Law in Nepal from 30 October to 31 October 2010 in Dhaka and organized meetings with the Chief Justice of Bangladesh, Chairman of Law Commission, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Chairman of International Crimes Tribunal, and also organized visits to a few law schools.

Students from Kathmandu School of Law (KSL) hosted by MIHRSACL in Dhaka with the Chief Justice of Bangladesh, Mr. A. B. M. Khairul Haque (31 October 2010).

Dr. Uttam Kumar Das, Deputy Director of MIHRSACL, was invited to Kathmandu School of Law to spend a week at the institution and to take sessions at the International Residential School on Economic, Social and Development Rights and Good Governance in November 2010. The School had 42 students from Nepal, Bangladesh, India and China. This visit gave an opportunity to observe functioning of KSL and had interactions with the faculty members.

MIHRSACL is collaborating with human rights and development organizations. It has been a networking partner of Harvard Law School Project on Disability Project in Bangladesh among others. 

The Deputy Director, having invitations from BRAC, and WARBE Development Foundation in Dhaka, has presented papers on legal and human rights issues. He also published in national dailies and news magazines on those issues. Few of the articles are listed below: