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Top Law Firm in Bangladesh

Leading Law Firm in Bangladesh

Leading Law Firm in Dhaka

Summary of Virtual Court Procedure Laws amidst the Covid 19 and its possible future implication.

The new Dressing Code and Guidelines for Lawyers and Judges

Can the judiciary be just? This question becomes the primary foundation of every judicial system around the world. A just judiciary can balance out a lot of chinks within the system and maintain the necessary checks and balances. When the corona virus pandemic spread over the world, a major concern in Bangladesh was the maintenance of the judiciary and how the court system will work during this pandemic. Providing equity within time is extremely important in the judiciary. From criminal cases to civil, commercial, company and admiralty, keeping the courts open was a real challenge in Bangladesh for lack of a proper setup.There are five types of Writs according to the Constitution of Bangladesh which are categorically mentioned below. 

Virtual Court Attire

Virtual Court System

Bangladesh for the first time, introduced the virtual court system to ensure that the gridlock formed due to the general lockdown effected from the spread of Covid -19 can be sorted out as per the practice directives provided by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh for the Appellate Division, the High Court and all other subordinate courts. This was a big step towards progress, as virtual proceedings are not very rare in the first world countries, in fact, in most of them it is part of most of the day to day activities, for example, the UK courts already had in place Practice Directions specifically provided for virtual hearings. For a change, Bangladesh took a major step in that direction by introducing virtual proceedings.

Impact of Covid 19 in the Bangladesh Legal System

The circulars allows any advocate on record or lawyer to make a one page application to the bench officer or court associate explaining the urgency for the hearing. The application or petition is typed, printed in blue paper, scanned, electronically uploaded and emailed to the bench officer or court associate. Scanned copy of any documentary evidence must be in PDF format and needs to be authenticated and certified by the filing lawyer. Wokalatnama containing all the necessary information of the lawyer and undertaking having statements of truth certifying all the information provided and evidence are correct. After that, the court associate or bench officer provides via text to the lawyer or advocate on record a case number. The Judge will consider the urgency of the matter and decide the date of the hearing which shall be then communicated to the court associate or bench officer accordingly.

With regards to the dress code of the hearing, the concerned judge and advocates shall wear the proper court dress without gown and everyone will maintain the court decorum as they would have in the actual court. 

Almost a year has passed since these regulations have come to fruition and it has proven to be extremely effective in a lot of instances. Especially with Covid-19 in full effect all across the country, the use of the virtual court has made justice accessible to all those who needed it. It is important to understand that this has set new standards for all the judiciary of Bangladesh.

Firstly, this ensures that there is an alternative way to conduct the courts without actual attendance. Also, in the long term, this is bound to create new precedents with regards to using the virtual system to reduce time in many procedures. It has in many instances become a time saving policy for lawyers, who actually have to attend each courts separately, sometimes having to take multiple extensions for lack of time and for clash of hearing period. These problems have greatly reduced in the virtual court as the lawyers or advocates are able to track whatever is happening in other courts without actually being in attendance and it allows them to be more efficient. 

Secondly, it may bring about an absolute change with regards to the Criminal legal system. The virtual medium has been used for bail hearings during the pandemic and this can actually greatly reduce the logistical costs of the court and the police force who have to spend a lot of money yearly to transport and properly secure the prisoners during bail hearings.

All in all, the introduction of virtual court proceedings can actually be the beginning of a legal renaissance in Bangladesh.