Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain said Tuesday, ‘in Bangladesh access to justice was increasing day by day.’
He said that 17,42,247 cases were filed in different courts of Bangladesh in 2017 alone which was ample proof that access to justice in Bangladesh is increasing day by day irrespective of gender.
He was speaking at the concluding session of the South Asia Regional Conference on Gender, Rights and Choices: Access to Justice in Megacity.
The department of law of Dhaka University and the Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust organized the conference at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of DU.
The Chief Justice described access to justice as ‘a human right and a fundamental element of ensuring rule of law.’
He said, Bangladesh’s government sponsored legal aid schemes and NGO based legal aid activities help the poor and the disadvantaged, particularly vulnerable women to take their matters to the court seeking redress and remedy.
‘Statistics reveal that 66,644 persons were provided with legal aid in 2017 from Government Fund. Of them, 29,882 were females,’ he said.
He said that protection of human rights could guaranteed only through coordinated efforts of the stakeholders.
Besides, he said, regional cooperation, coordination, communication, knowledge and experience sharing could enable the people in the megacities to take shelter of the law to vindicate their grievances.
He said that Article 28 of the Constitution of Bangladesh prohibits any kind of discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and ensured equal rights for both men and women.
Justice Mahmud Hossain said that the country had adequate laws to reduce violence against women. ‘Judiciary of Bangladesh is highly sensitized about gender justice.’
He said that ‘Dhaka has been dubbed the fastest growing megacity in the world. The megacities will surely provide specific challenges and opportunities for the sustainable development goal, the provision of access to justice to all and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.’
Former Appellate Division judge, Justice Nizamul Huq said women in Bangladesh were always deprived of their rights, especially in the issue of getting property.
He said that slum dwellers in cities seldom get legal aid and urged the legal aid organizations to reach the marginalized community.
Dhaka University pro-vice chancellor (academic) Nasreen Ahmed stressed the need of giving women, especially of marginalized community, more access to justice.
Presided over by DU law department chairman Naima Huq, the session was also addressed by National Law University Odisha vice-chancellor Sri Krishna Deva Rao and DU law professor Shahnaz Huda, among others.
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