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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 106
February 14, 2009

This week's issue:
Law judgement review
Law interview
Laws For everyday life
Law amusements
Law lexicon
Law event
Law Week

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Law week

Half of the Ordinances left out
The special committee of the parliament Okayed for ratification only 44 of the 122 ordinances promulgated just before and during the immediate past caretaker government's regime. The committee will keep scrutinising the rest of the ordinances to decide which of those also deserve ratification. The Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance, and the Human Rights Commission Ordinance are among the ordinances chosen for ratification, according to committee sources.

Although the RTI Ordinance was not on the short list of 50, earlier prepared by an expert committee for ratification, Special Committee Chairman Advocate Rahmat Ali yesterday in the meeting personally urged the law ministry to include that on the new short list of 44. -The Daily Star, February 04, 2009.

Call to stop harassment of migrant workers in Malaysia
Speakers at the press conference demanded to an end to harassment and corruption in sending workers to Malaysia. They demanded punishment to the corrupt government officials and recruitment agencies for their treacherous activities to the hapless migrant workers.The speakers placed a 6-point demand at the press conference organised by Bangladesh Development Partnership Centre (BDPC) at Dhaka Reporters' Unity auditorium in the city.They also urged government to take an effective initiative to return the illegal migrants and trafficked people who are confined in different jails and detention camps in Malaysia for carrying forged documents. - The Daily Star, February 04, 2009.

Call to implement women development policy
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) leaders urged the government to implement the Women Development Policy of 1997 as soon as possible to ensure gender equality politically, socially and economically for establishing the rule of law in the society.A 10member delegation lead by BMP President Ayesha Khanam and General Secretary Maleka Banu made the appeal after placing a 13-point demand before Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed at his secretariat office yesterday morning .State Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Quamrul Islam was also present at the meeting. The law minister assured the woman leaders that his ministry will extend all cooperation in this regard, adding that he would discuss the issues with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is in charge of the Woman and Children Affairs Ministry. -The Daily Star, February 04, 2009.

Prime Minister wants Anti Corruption Commission reconstituted
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday told the Jatiya Sangsad that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) would be reconstituted, and accountability and transparency of its activities ensured. “Steps will be taken for smooth functioning of the ACC without political interference,” Hasina assured the House during question-answer session. The government will do everything required to free the society of corruption, she said. Replying to lawmakers' queries, the PM also unveiled her government's plans to build digital Bangladesh by 2021 by implementing a large number of measures on information technology (IT), which would also generate employment and help fight corruption. -The Daily Star, February 05, 2009.

Extra-judicial killing to be stopped said Foreign Minister
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has said that the government would show “zero tolerance” to extra-judicial killing or torture and death in custody. “We do not condone any such incident and will bring the responsible officials to justice.” the foreign minister said in response to questions at the Universal Periodic Review of Bangladesh at the Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday.Dipu Moni said, “Poverty is both a cause and consequence of violation of human rights. Eradication of poverty, therefore, is the top priority of the government”. During the question-answer session, the foreign minister enumerated the steps taken by the government to protect and promote human rights in Bangladesh, including the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission last year. -The Daily Star, February 05, 2009.

2-yr CG rule was 'doctrine of necessity'
The two-year rule of the immediate past caretaker government was the “doctrine of necessity” for continuing the administration to run the country, said Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed. He said it did not suspend the constitution and tried to stay near the line of the constitution, but the present government would not give all its actions legitimacy since most ordinances promulgated during the rule of that caretaker government were not constitutional. “Extra-constitutional actions were carried out in the country during 1975-1979 and 1982-1986. Martial law decrees were established in those periods and the constitution remained suspended. We could not settle those disputes,” Shafique said. -The Daily Star, February 06, 2009.

Human rights bodies concerned
Human Rights Forum on Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Bangladesh yesterday expressed frustration as the government did not make any clear pledge to implement the CHT Treaty and ensure rights of women as well as the minorities in the UN Human Rights Council.However, the forum welcomed the government pledge on holding the trial of war criminals and removing the culture of injustice, says a press release. A seven-member team of the forum consisting 17 non-government human rights organisations led by its Convener Sultana Kamal participated in the review of the country's human rights situation. -The Daily Star, February 06, 2009.

US to help strengthen law enforcement agencies
The United States offered to assist Bangladesh government in strengthening the country's law enforcing agencies, including Rab and police, under a joint action plan to control “terrorism and militancy”.A four-member delegation of the US Justice Department gave the proposal at a meeting with Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Barrister Shafiq Ahmed at his office in the city yesterday, as the two sides discussed a wide range of issues. -The Daily Star, February 09, 2009.

Corresponding with the Law Desk
Please send your mails, queries, and opinions to: Law Desk, The Daily Star 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215; telephone 8124944,8124955,fax 8125155; email: dslawdesk@yahoo.co.uk,lawdesk@thedailystar.net


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