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Judiciary of Bangladesh

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The Judiciary of Bangladesh (Bengali: বাংলাদেশের বিচার বিভাগBānlādēśēra bicāra bibhāga) or Judicial system of Bangladesh (Bengali: বাংলাদেশের বিচার ব্যবস্থাBānlādēśēra bicāra byabasthā) is based on the Constitution and the laws are enacted by the legislature and interpreted by the higher courts. Bangladesh Supreme Court is the highest court of Bangladesh. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has been described in Article 94(1) of the Constitution of Bangladesh.[1] It consists of two divisions, the High Court Division and the Appellate Division. These two divisions of the Supreme Court have separate jurisdictions.[2]

The Bangladeshi judiciary faces a severe shortage of judges. As of July 2017, 1,268 judges deal with over 2.7 million cases in lower courts, 86 High Court justices deal with 431,000 cases and 6 Supreme Court justices deal with 13,000 cases.[3]

Supreme Court[edit]

Chief Justice[edit]

The Chief Justice of Bangladesh is the chief amongst the judges of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, and also head of the whole judicial establishments, including subordinate courts. The chief justice is appointed by the President of Bangladesh. The Chief Justice sits in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court with other judges to hear and decide cases, presides over meetings of the full Supreme Court to transact business relating to administration of the court, and supervises the discipline of the judges and magistrates of the subordinate courts.[4]

Appellate Division[edit]

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has two divisions namely the Appellate Division and the High Court Division (HCD). The Appellate Division hears both civil and criminal appeals from the High Court Division. The Appellate Division may also decide a point of law reserved for its decision by the High Court Division, as well as any point of law of public interest arising in the course of an appeal from a subordinate court to the High Court Division, which has been reserved by the High Court Division for the decision of the Appellate Division.

High Court Division[edit]

The High court division of the Supreme court consists of Civil courts, Criminal courts and some Special courts. Article 101 of the Constitution provides that the High Court Division shall have such original, appellate and other jurisdictions, powers and functions as are or may be conferred on it by the Constitution or any other law.

District Courts[edit]

Civil Courts[edit]

Under section 3 of The Civil Courts Act, 1887 five civil courts exist in this hierarchy:[5]

  • District Judge Court
  • Additional District Judge Court
  • Joint District Judge Court
  • Senior Assistant Judge Court
  • Assistant Judge Court

Criminal Courts[edit]

Two types of Criminal Courts exist in this hierarchy:[6]

District Sessions Courts[edit]

  • District Session Judge Court
  • Additional District Session Judge Court
  • Joint District Session Judge Court

Magistrate Courts[edit]

  • Chief Judicial Magistrate Court
  • Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court
  • Senior Judicial Magistrate Court
  • Judicial Magistrate Court

City Criminal Courts[edit]

As of 2022 only the flowing six cities have metropolitan courts:[7]

Generally, Metropolitan court deals the criminal offenses occur in the metropolitan area. Currently, only Metropolitan Sessions courts are found in Bangladesh. Metropolitan Court doesn't deal with Civil cases. Thus Metropolitan courts are of 2 subtypes of session or criminal. Those are:

Metropolitan Sessions Courts[edit]

Metropolitan Magistrates Courts[edit]

Specialized Courts and Tribunals[edit]

Bangladesh Judicial Service Association[edit]

Bangladesh Judicial Service Association (BJSA)(Bengali: বাংলাদেশ জুডিসিয়াল সার্ভিস এসোসিয়েশন (বিজেএসএ) is a professional association of Judges and Magistrates of Bangladesh. The Association headquarters is located in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Md. Helal Chowdhury, the District and Sessions Judge Dhaka, is the current President and Bikash Kumar Saha, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, is the Secretary-General of the Association.[8]

Judicial corruption[edit]

The Bangladeshi judicial system is inefficient and under the influence of the executive branch. Political appointments, promotions, and firings are routine, and it can be difficult to enforce contracts and resolve disputes.[9] Prosecutors, who earn only $37.50 ??? a month, are especially susceptible to bribery.[10]

In 2010, Judiciary of Bangladesh was ranked as the most corrupt institution of the country.[11] The most prominent aspect of the judiciary of Bangladesh is, it is not an independent institution of the state in that both judiciary and the executive branch of the government are overlapped.[12] Bangladesh's Judicial system is infested by partisanship,[13][14][15] governmental or political influence,[16] judicial corruption,[17] delays in verdicts,[18] and abuse of power.[19]


On 3 March 2007, University of Chittagong revoked the LLB certificate of the judge Faisal Mahmud Faizee and seventy others for tampering with their mark-sheets, asking them to immediately return their certificates.[20]

On 26 July 2014, it has been reported that three senior judges, AKM Ishtiaque Hussain, Md Mizanur Rahman, Salauddin Mohammad Akram, would lose their jobs because of various types of corruptions.[21]

On 14 August 2016, Bangladesh Ministry of Law said that they have started the process of dismissing four judges, SM Aminul Islam, Ruhul Amin Khandaker, Sirajul Islam and Moinul Haque, for grave corruptions.[22]


Bangladesh has a huge backlog of unresolved cases both civil and criminal.[23] Political clout is believed to be the main factor behind most of the unsolved murder cases.[24]

According to Global Impunity Index of CJP published on 27 October 2016, Bangladesh occupies 11th position in the list where journalists are slain and killers go free.[25]

Politics of trial[edit]

In Bangladesh, generally the government files politically motivated cases against the opposition, and these cases get withdrawn or quashed when the opposition takes control of the government in turn.[26]

Civil cases[edit]


  1. ^ "Home : Supreme Court of Bangladesh". www.supremecourt.gov.bd. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Legal system of Bangladesh". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  3. ^ Sarkar, Ashutosh (8 July 2017). "Top court faces acute shortage of judges". The Daily Star.
  4. ^ "Chief Justice". banglapedia.org.
  5. ^ The Civil Courts Act, 1887 S 3
  6. ^ "Home : Subordinate Courts of Bangladesh". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  7. ^ "Subordinate Courts | Judicial Portal".
  8. ^ "Chief Justice, law minister attend BJSA Iftar". Daily Sun. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  9. ^ McDevitt, Andy (31 March 2015). "Bangladesh: Overview of corruption and anti-corruption with a focus on the health sector" (PDF). Transparency International. Retrieved 21 May 2024. Human Rights Watch described the 2014 elections as "the most violent in the country's history" (Human Rights Watch 2014). As a result of the political turmoil, Bangladesh's political rights rating declined from 3 to 4 on Freedom House's 2015 Freedom of the World Index (Freedom House 2015).
  10. ^ "Bangladesh Corruption Report". Business Anti Corruption Portal. Archived from the original on 3 September 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Politicians, judiciary most corrupt in Bangladesh". Zee News. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  12. ^ Hossain Mollah, Md Awal (2012). "Independence of judiciary in Bangladesh: an overview". International Journal of Law and Management. 54 (1): 61–77. doi:10.1108/17542431211189605.
  13. ^ "BNP-Jamaat-backed lawyers sweep Supreme Court Bar Association elections". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Pro-AL panel wins Supreme Court Bar polls". New Age. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  15. ^ "BNP-backed panel re-elected in Supreme Court Bar Association polls". Nirapad News. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Government's undue influence over Judiciary in Bangladesh". Times of Assam. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Bangladesh". U4. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  18. ^ Ahmed, Hafez. "Delay in justice: An abysmal crisis". The Financial Express. Dhaka. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Bangladesh, Where the Judiciary Can Be an Obstacle to Justice (Text)". Youthmedia Europe. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  20. ^ "The Daily Star Web Edition Vol. 5 Num 981". The Daily Star. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  21. ^ "3 senior judges to lose job for corruption, indiscipline – New Age". New Age. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  22. ^ "4 judges to lose job for corruption". Business News 24 BD. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Bangladesh judiciary plans evening courts to clear huge case backlog in districts". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Political clout behind most unsolved murder cases". Dhaka Tribune. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Getting Away With Murder – Committee to Protect Journalists". cpj.org. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Withdrawal of political cases: Rule of law stripped away". The Daily Star. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2017.