8520121-Family-Courts-in-Bangladesh

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Unformatted text preview: Page 1 of 46 This Article is a revised version of my earlier article under the same title that has been published in Bangladesh Journal of Law, Vol. 10 Nos. 1& 2, June & December 2006, pp. 97-118. This version contains the latest information up to June 2007 This article may be cited as: 1. Zahidul Islam Biswas, ‘The confusions and uncertainties thwarting Family Courts in Bangladesh’ June, 2007, [www location], [date of access] Article The confusions and uncertainties thwarting Family Courts in Bangladesh Zahidul Islam Biswas ± ± Zahidul Islam Biswas is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, currently with the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. At the time of working on the article some parts of the article were published in The Daily Star, a popular English daily in Bangladesh, for readers comments, and some readers commented accordingly. The author cordially acknowledges those valuable comments. He can be reached at: zahid_biswas@hotmail.com. Page 2 of 46 Abstract The purpose of establishment of Family Courts in Bangladesh was to ensure a quick, effective and amicable disposal of some of the family matters, which the traditional civil courts had failed to successfully deal with. Unfortunately, the noble aim of introducing Family Courts has not been expectantly achieved though already more than two decades have passed after the courts’ coming into operation. There are many and diverse type of reasons behind such letdown. Given the socio-economic grounds, the procedural as well as substantive loopholes in the ordinance and related laws are not negligible. Besides, there are some misconceptions. This article endeavours to examine those confusions, uncertainties and misconceptions in the light of judicial decisions of the country’s higher courts. Hence, this article can be a tremendous help for many practising lawyers and acting judges. However, the prime purpose of this study is to bring these issues firstly to the lawyers’ and judges’ authorities that can make the lawyers and judges conscious, can seek judicial interpretation from the highest judicial authority of the land; secondly to the legislative authority that can amend the laws to the necessary extent. Page 3 of 46 PRELIMINARIES Establishment of Family Courts was on the one hand an expression of our sophisticated legal thought, on the other hand, an acknowledgement that our traditional civil courts had failed to successfully deal with the suits relating to family affairs. Family Courts were established by the Family Courts Ordinance 1985 1 to serve the purpose of quick, effective and amicable disposal of some of the family matters. This purpose, though not perceptible from the preamble of the Ordinance, is evident in different places of the body of the Ordinance. The anxiety of the framers of the Ordinance for the said speedy disposal of the family cases is palpable in fixing only thirty days for the appearance of the defendant...
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