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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: 128
July 25, 2009

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Regulations for the discharge of Judicial Duty

Title: Bangladesh Judicial Service (Laws, Rules, Orders, SROs and Circulars)
Author: Barrister Md. Abdul Halim
First Copyright date: April 2009
Price: Tk. 400.00 only
ISBN: 984-300-001859-7

ONE of the earliest laws, dating back to the 19th century, which ensured greater protection of Magistrates and others acting judicially is the Judicial Officers' Protection Act, 1850. It stated that no Judge, Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, Collector or other person acting judicially shall be liable to be sued in any Civil Court for any act done or ordered to be done by him in discharge of his judicial duty, whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction as long as at the time he believed himself to be in good faith and have jurisdiction to do or order the act complained of. To seize such privilege requires great knowledge. Barrister Md. Abdul Halim's book on Bangladesh Judicial Service provides an initial stepping stone for those newly appointed to carry out the judicial duty.

The author has ventured to publish this book as a ready reference for necessary laws, rules, SROs and circulars which will assist candidates in preparation of their departmental examination and also their day-to-day administration. A special feature of this book is that it is in line with the new syllabus and the needs and demands of newly appointed judges.

The laws of Bangladesh are largely in harmony with the English legal system although since 1947, the legal development and the laws of Bangladesh have drifted far from the West due to difference in socio-cultural values and religious norms. In November 2007, Bangladesh successfully separated the Judiciary from the Executive. The caretaker government headed by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed amended the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 and the lower judiciary was separated from the executive organs of the state.

The book provides the basic laws with regard to the separation of judiciary and newly constituted Judicial Service Commission. These include:
*Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission Rules, 2007;
*Bangladesh Judicial Service (Constitution of Service, Appointment to the Service, Suspension, Dismissal and Removal) Rules, 2007;
*Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (Posting, Promotion, Grant of Leave, Control, Discipline and other Conditions of Service) Rules, 2007;
*Bangladesh Service (Pay Commission) Rules, 2007;
*Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007.

By virtue of sub-rule (4) of Rule 6 of Bangladesh Judicial Service (Constitution of Service, Appointment to the Service, Suspension, Dismissal and Removal) Rules, 2007, the competent authority i.e. the Ministry of Law authorised by the President promulgated the Probationer Assistance Judges Training and Departmental Examination Order, 2008 by SRO No. 75-Ain 2008. This service of training and probation matters were regulated by Munsiffs Training and Probation Rules, 1979. The Order of 2008 has prescribed new syllabus for departmental examination in its Schedule. No ready reference is available in the market to cater the need of newly recruited assistance judges while preparing for their departmental examination.

In his Preface, the author defines the judicial service by resourcefully quoting the landmark judgement of Masdar Hossain case in 1999 by Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. It states that 'the judicial service is a service of the Republic within the meaning of Article 152(1) of the Constitution, but it is functionally and structurally distinct and separate service from the civil and administrative services of the Republic with t\which the judicial service cannot be placed on par on any account and that it cannot be amalgamated, abolished, replaced, mixed up and tied together with the civil executive and administrative services.' [(21 BLD (AD) 126, 52 DLR (AD) 82 (paragraph 76)]

Divided in five chapters, first two chapters of this book deal with mostly laws, rules and SROs contained in the 4th paper for Departmental Examination. To be more specific, Chapter I provides the Departmental Examination Syllabus and Past Papers of the years 1998 to 2007. Chapter II provides laws on 4th paper.

Chapter III contains some relevant laws, which include Commission of Inquiry Act, 1956, Contempt of Courts Act, 1926, Judicial Officers' Protection Act, 1850, Public Servants (Dismissal on Conviction) Ordinance, 1985 and the 2008 Act concerning judicial magistrates.

Chapter IV contains circulars issued by the Supreme Court and Chapter V contains rules with regard to official communications along with some model official letters and communications. The sources and authenticity of information are cited in the relevant Chapter.

This book will surely interest newly appointed judges and will be of great help for its accuracy, objectivity, importance, thoroughness, and usefulness to its intended audience. The new syllabus has brought out a requirement for a new reference book for candidates of the departmental examination. This book precisely and very conveniently caters to the need of newly recruited Assistant Judges or Judicial Magistrates while preparing for their departmental examination as a ready reference book.


Samaha M Karim, Law Desk.


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