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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: 182
August 14, 2010

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Promoting human rights

Dr M Habibur Rahman

THE age old talked about matter as time passages is human rights. There is a role commendable for the rule of law towards protection and preservation of human rights. Human rights documents at global, regional, sub-regional and national levels are not rare but unfortunate occurrence infringing human rights draws notions questionable here and there in the world. In the world largely governed by democracy no attempts can be validated to single out rule of law for protecting and preserving human rights. Democracy, human rights and rule of law are inherently related owing to which none of the three can be singled out for promoting human rights regime to reality.

Although democracy is assumed to be effective through its tastes destined for each and every body but practically it is being taken to be applicable to the interests of majority party people. The tastes of democracy are as if at the disposal of the majority party. In the situation, democracy stands inactive to mount up the interests of minority party people. There then a need to consecrate democracy taking an account of 'benevolent democracy'. 'Benevolent democracy' reveals inertia devoted to the promotion of overall interests of the community emphasizing the community have-not ones to be taken into equation for their interests. In the sphere of benevolent democracy the rule of law surmises to substantiate protection and preservation of human rights.

The urges of the rule of law and benevolent democracy can more and more be of sound if their notions are cemented on the notion of welfare state. In other words, it would be much more actionable while social welfare state norms are made activated. The state on its own tenor shall automatically have to promote human rights if social welfare doctrine is made entered into the inbox of the rule of law and benevolent democracy. Such attempt seems indispensable to step forward for institutionalising protection and preservation of human rights.

There are certain avenues that matter human rights significantly. Those avenues relate to territorial concerns, actors' measures and policy matters that cannot help tuning human rights for protection and preservation. Territorial concerns are vital in the sense that the place of occurrence of human rights infringements warrants to be specified. That is to say, a state has its authority to place as a sole arbiter to decide disputes through the assigned mechanisms. In the context of protection and preservation of human rights if the state is serious to deal properly it can do in entirety. Territorial concerns practically give emphasis on state's jurisdiction enforceable by the concerned state authority. Where the state is positive and serious to uphold human rights to its reality the human rights regime will then be automatically achieved. Human rights actors appear to mean NGO personnel and the persons voluntarily involved in human rights matters. Policy matters signify the mechanisms that need to be applicable to promote human rights regime.

As to protection and preservation of human rights the role of judiciary is indispensable in the sense that human rights cannot go isolated from judiciary. Pursuant to PN Bhagwati it can be addressed that fundamental human rights and liberties are best preserved in a society where judiciary enjoys freedom from political interference and lawyers are free to take up cases without fear of reprisal. Insightfully, protection and preservation of human rights require freedom of judiciary not only from political quarters but also from all other avenues. It is the mind of judge who disposes of the matter that will appear to have been judiciously disposed of or not to be as such. In this case freedom of judiciary may not be effective to control the judge to exercise his authority arbitrarily. Protection and preservation of human rights cannot be considered beyond the mindsets of the judges. In all cases the best judgment can be attained in the best mindsets of the judges.

The ongoing deal of 'global village' has been trouncing one another to be in contact. In order to promote human rights emphasizing protection and preservation attempts are inevitable to welcome the concerns aimed at individually, sub-regionally, regionally and globally embracing the goal. With the passage of time international criminal law is getting momentum in its application to individuals. This trend obviates application of human rights law to individuals.

Since the emergence of International Criminal Court, urges of international law are not only for the interests of its subjects like state and organizations but also for the newly assigned subject such as individual criminals. Thus international law has been nourished with the deal of individuals as its subjects. Where individual's interests are adjudicated by international law, human rights concerns are then to have stepped into the framework of international human rights law. The matter of protection and preservation of human rights and individual's interests seems to be a common deal.

In the query of essential mores, there can be no question as to the need of man's conscience indispensable at every stage of human life. If man is not rich and wide in his conscience and mindsets there will be no legal regime institutionalised as a result, it is not possible for him to be gratified.

Where there is a say of rights for some body, he can consider himself to be with some assertion amounting to some power. Specifically, a man with right thinks himself to be more or less empowered owing to which he steps forward to exercise right so empowered against his opponent. There is little to say for that man to be considerate to the rights of the opponent in the spirit of obligations. A perfect legal regime can come into being if rights and obligations reside side by side giving rise to human rights to be institutionalised so as to protection and preservation To get all those done all concerned individually, territorially, sub-regionally, regionally and globally must be serious towards rights and obligations in human matters as if human rights and human obligations appear to all as a deal of simultaneous matter.

The writer is Max-Planck Visiting Scholar, Professor of Law, Rajshahi University.


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