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  <%-- Page Title--%> Issue No 158 <%-- End Page Title--%>  

September 19, 2004 

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Article 70 needs an amendment
Article 70 of our constitution can be considered as one of the main obstacle of our democracy. According to art 70 no member of the ruling party can exercise his democratic right to dissent even when the government passes an undemocratic law. Due to this barrier of the constitution the members of the ruling party fails to express their own opinion and they have to act according to the choice of their leader. This process undermines the whole spirit of responsible government and leads to elected dictatorship in Bangladesh. In the developed country like Britain the member of the ruling party enjoy enormous power to criticise their government which leads their parliament to come to a fruitful ending with the free opinion of all the members. But unfortunately we do not have this tradition. However, it is true that anti hopping law is salutary from one point of view since it strengthens the fabric of parliamentary democracy by curbing unethical and unprincipled political defection. But it would be more advantageous if this law is only imposed during the time when the cabinet faces a no confidence or confidence motion. Therefore, article 70 of the constitution needs amendment from this aspect and all political party should be united to remove this drawback of our constitution for the sake of authentic parliamentary democracy.

Putul, Department of Law, Dhaka University.

Appreciation to BRAC
Article 77 of the constitution of Bangladesh provides that parliament may by law establish the office of ombudsman. In 1980, at the initiative taken by the then Govt., the Jatiya Sangsad passed the necessary act providing for the establishment of the office of Ombudsman. But the then Govt. did not put the act into effect. Successive Govt. followed the same trend. The office of ombudsman has not been establishing through more than 24 years have been passed since the passing of the Ombudsman Act. There is no denial of the fact that it is absolutely necessary to continue to do whatever is possible to control the overt and covert powers of traditional bureaucracy and to make it accountable to the people. The Governing Board of BRAC has taken this significant innovative step in order to enhance its overall governance performance. They appointed Mr. Manzoorul Karim, former Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh, as their own Ombudsperson. And he has become the first Ombudsman in Bangladesh. No impartial (!) judicial inquiry commission, rather the govt. of Bangladesh has to assign an Ombudsperson and to delegate him a comprehensive mandate to investigate any incidence of maladministration and misuse of power, which will include grievances, such as, corruption, abuse of power or discretion, negligence, oppression, nepotism, rudeness, arbitrariness, unfairness and discrimination specially in the context of gender.

Aftab Ahmed, LL.B.(Hons),final Year, University of Chittagong

Becoming a lawyer
Setting a lucrative goal of becoming a lawyer is not possible for all. A lawyer is jurist forever and it is a continuous process. Lawyer called learned in the society but surprisingly a lot of lawyers, specially who are practising in the subordinate court like me, are not competent enough to become the gladiator of establishing law in the society. Being social engineer a major portion of the lawyers is misguiding the clients as well as the courts in raw hands that is one of the causes of delaying of speedy disposal of justice. There are more than five thousands lawyers are practising in Dhaka Court but you will get only few competent and efficient trial lawyers. Among the all shorts of practising law, trial advocacy is tough job and it must be accepted by the lawyer community. "Lawyering is an art and it can not be availed within short span of time"-this is a wise saying of the learned senior lawyer of our community. But in present context the witty lawyers of the modern world say that lawyering is an art and it must be taught by adequate training and I do believe that young lawyers should get proper opportunity through training to competent for transnational practice of law. Bangladesh need some smoothie and articulate lawyers for the shake of democracy, rule of law and above all establishing law in the society. It is true that Bangladesh Bar Council has taken pioneer and vital steps to produce vision and competent lawyers for the next generation providing few courses like Bar Vocational Course (BVC) and Intensive Trial Advocacy course, organise by Legal Education Training Institute, the course duration of the first one is only for six weeks and second one is only one week that are not sufficient at all and there is no Appellate Advocacy Training in Bangladesh. To learn about appellate advocacy young lawyers are to depend on the learned senior lawyers. I fact the competent, eminent and witty lawyers are too busy that they have not adequate time to teach the young lawyers. But they should bear in mind that it is there implied obligation to this profession is to make astute lawyers and adroit justices for the this century. Completing the BVC-Batch-8, I should be grateful to LETI but I have few suggestions to Bangladesh Bar Council and our learned senior lawyers to fit the young lawyers to uphold the dignity of the lawyering profession that are given below:

1.An Appellate Advocacy Training Program should be started as soon as possible.
2.Third class in any public examination should be treated as a disqualification of becoming a lawyer.
3.Bar Vocational Course may be started after passing advocacy written examination and advocacy viva voce may be held after completion of BVC.

Mohammed Mamun Al Feruje, Advocate Dhaka Judge Court.


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