Law Commission is comatose | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 07, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 07, 2009

Editorial

Law Commission is comatose

Making it fully operational brooks no delay

IT is an appalling instance of how a body established by law and designated to provide vital input for legal and judicial reform has been deliberately sidelined for the most part since its inception in 1996. The fact that only four of the 200 laws and amendments recommended by the commission had been adopted by the previous AL government and none by the subsequent BNP government, bears testimony to the history of neglect suffered by it. The BNP government's pathological indifference to the body is etched on its framing 184 laws without any recourse to the commission.
It is only in April that a former High Court justice was inducted as its chairman along with two new members in the person of a retired district judge and a university professor. While the commission is manned at the top, it lacks the complement of officials needed at the operational level.
The work of the commission is badly hindered by the transitory nature of engagement of senior officials coming in on deputation from judicial cadres. Before they can acquire any footing and experience to be productive, they simply move out, often cutting short their period of assignment in pursuit of a better prospect.
Actually, the physical constraints, continual lack of logistical support and poor work environment dogging its footsteps, a realisation of the commission's full potential remains a far cry. So, the need for putting officials on a long term engagement is pressing and the organisation ought to have a permanent office building also to operate with any degree of stability.
Actually what seems imperative is a wholesale attitudinal change to enable the commission to work to its full potential. Since the AL government has reorganised the commission at the top, one expects the rest to follow in terms of revamping it with adequate manpower, equipment and research base and other ancillary facilities. We read a sign of activating the commission in the reference being drawn to it for examining the International Crimes Tribunal Act for whatever relevance it may have to the trial of war criminals. We are at this stage looking for an authentic Bangla version of the same act.

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