Thursday, 09 February 2017 12:34

Legal System in Bangladesh

Legal System of Bangladesh

The developments of recent legislations under the purview of our current legal system of Bangladesh are much influenced by different factors based on the necessities of relevant area of law; for instance, the development of family laws are much influenced by the religious rituals and societal needs; then the recent developments of the Labour Laws were

driven by the casualties in different industries that attracted the attention of all the concerned groups; further, increasing trade demands have been the motivating factor for liberalizing the trade/industrial policies and enriching the Business Laws. 

The supreme law of Bangladesh, the constitution, is in written form being the core of all legislations. The laws, being enacted by the parliament and interpreted by the courts, take the statutory form of guiding the community. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is the highest court comprising the High Court Division and the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division is vested with the power to hear appeals from the High Court Division or from any other body created under the statute. The High Court Division controls the subordinate courts and tribunals and act as first instance court for company matters, admiralty matters and also has jurisdictions to declare null and void any law violating the fundamental rights of the people. 

With respect to the civil proceedings at the lower courts, the cases start at the subordinate civil courts depending on the valuation of the suit. In general, the hierarchy of the lower courts comprises of the five courts; namely the District Judge Court, Additional District Judge Court, Joint District Judge Court, Senior Assistant Judge Court and Assistant Judge Court.

With respect to the criminal proceedings, the sub-ordinate criminal courts are sub-divided into two categories Sessions Court and Magistrate Court. Depending on the nature of the offense and the trial stage these Session Courts are also categorized as Session Judge Court, Additional Session Judge Court and Joint Session Judge Court. Magistrate Courts are also subdivided to the Executive Magistrate, having the restricted power (for instance, with respect to the Mobile Courts), and Judicial Magistrate. 


Following is a structure of the Hierarchy of the Courts in Bangladesh:

Appellate Division

High Court Division

Criminal Courts

District Judge

Additional District Judge

Joint District Judge

Civil Courts

Sessions Judge

Aditional Sessions Judge

Joint Sessions Judge

Senior Assistant Judge

Assistant Judge

Metropolitan Area

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate

Other Metropolitan Magistrate

Other than Metropolitan Area

Chief Judicial Magistrate

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate

Senior Judicial Magistrate

Judicial Magistrate (Second & Third Class Magistrate)

In addition, there are some separate courts dedicated to the particular area of law. For instance, the Labour Courts deal with labour disputes; Administrative Tribunals have the jurisdiction to deal with disputes related with the public servants; Income Tax Appellate Tribunals deal with Value Added Tax (VAT), tax, customs and related matters; there are different courts solely devoted to Money Loan matters, Insolvency and family issues and so on.

As a brief on the civil practitioner’s practice areas, a civil lawyer in Bangladesh represents clients across a broad range of associated proceedings, including landlord/tenant disputes, personal injury, product liability, company and commercial disputes, intellectual property, family matters, divorce, employment, banking, industrial disputes and so on. Such issues arises when two or more parties become involved in a legal dispute in quest of money or another specific performance rather than criminal sanctions, civil litigation stands as a way out. 

On the contrary, the criminal lawyers represent parties in the matters related with criminal charges in the magistrate court, district court, High Court Division and Appellate Division. Their area of practice includes bail hearings, plea bargains, trial, revocation hearings (parole or probation), appeals and post-conviction remedies. The criminal lawyers assist the clients in investigating the case and talking to the witnesses, researching case law, statutes, procedural law and criminal codes, developing a case strategy through building defense, negotiating with the prosecution for bail and lesser charges through drafting, arguing motions and so on. 

Instead of going for the court-proceeding the concerned parties may consider settling the issues/disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms; like mediation and arbitration. In June 2000, Alternative Dispute Resolution was introduced formally in Bangladesh by means of court - annexed judicial settlement pilot projects, in an attempt to lessen delays, expenses, and the frustrations of litigants experiencing through the traditional trial process. In Bangladesh, Arbitration Act 2001 is the key guideline in this regard. 

That’s pretty much comprises the Legal System of Bangladesh in short summary.


Last modified on Friday, 30 June 2017 10:41