Khatun Sapnara

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Her Honour Judge

Khatun Sapnara
খাতুন সাপনারা
Personal details
Born (1967-04-29) 29 April 1967 (age 51)
Sylhet District, Sylhet Division, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
NationalityBritish
Children2
ParentsMimbor Ali (father)
ResidenceLondon, England
EducationLaw, Political Science
Alma materLondon School of Economics
University of London
Middle Temple
OccupationBarrister, judge

Khatun Sapnara (Bengali: খাতুন সাপনারা; born 29 April 1967) is a Bangladeshi-born British judge. In 2006, she was appointed as a Recorder of the Crown Court, becoming the first person of Bangladeshi origin in a senior judicial position. In 2014, she was appointed as a Circuit Judge to hear cases in the Crown and Family Court.

Early life[edit]

Sapnara was born in Sylhet District, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and came to the United Kingdom as a child. Her father, the late Mimbor Ali, was honoured by the Bangladeshi government for his significant contribution to the liberation of Bangladesh.[1][2][3]

Sapnara attended Chadwell Heath School (now Chadwell Heath Academy). In 1988, she graduated with LLB (Hons) from the London School of Economics and Political Science from the University of London.[1][2][3]

Career[edit]

In 1990, Sapnara was called to the Bar[3] at Middle Temple. She practises from Coram Barristers Chambers in London and specialising in Family law.[4][5]

In 2003, Sapnara became the first ethnic minority person to be elected to the Family Law Bar Association Committee. In 2004, she was appointed by the Lord Chancellor Baron Charles Falconer of Thoroton to the Family Justice Council, a body of experts which advises the government on all aspects of the family justice system.[4] She is an expert in honour-based violence,[6] and assisted in formulating and drafting the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.[7] In 2006, she was appointed as a Recorder of the Crown.[1][2]

In 2012, she was involved in proposals to criminalise forced marriage,[8][9] arguing against criminalisation, contending that it was surplus to requirements[10][11] and that the move could deter victims from seeking help. She wrote in a joint newspaper article that it was a "quick-fix solution to a complex and long-standing problem."[12] In June 2012, she appeared on BBC Two's Newsnight, debating against criminalisation of forced marriage with Aneeta Prem of Freedom Charity.[13]

In March 2014, she was appointed as a Circuit Judge sitting at both the East London Family Court and at Kingston Crown Court.[14][15][16]

Between 2003 and 2014, Sapnara was Chair of the Ashiana Network,[8][10] a refuge and support agency for female victims of domestic violence and forced marriage.[6] She has served as director/chair of a number of charities and voluntary sector organisations and lectures widely on issues relating to family law[1] including to the Judicial College (formerly the Judicial Studies Board).

Recognition[edit]

In January 2015, Sapnara was named the "Person of the Year" in the British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration 100. She was recognised for her "outstanding achievement" as the first person of British Bangladeshi origin to acquire a senior judicial position.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

Personal life[edit]

Sapnara is a practising Muslim.[6] She is married with two children.[1][2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (July 2008). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 190. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (October 2009). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 117. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Enforced marriage law forces couple apart". The Historical Association. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Khatun Sapnara". Coram Chambers. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  5. ^ Jones, Meirion (25 February 2007). "Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats against Forced Marriage". Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Khatun Sapnara". We Love This Book. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  7. ^ Jones, Meirion (24 July 2009). "Enforced marriage law forces couple apart". BBC News. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Letters: No need to outlaw forced marriages". The Independent. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  9. ^ Gill, Aisha; Sapnara, Khatun (9 April 2012). "Forced marriages blight lives, but criminalising them would not work". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Should forced marriage be criminalised?". Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Forced Marriages Undermine the Values of Islam". British Muslims for Secular Democracy. 13 April 2012.
  12. ^ Gibb, Frances (30 August 2017). "Legal eagle Khatun Sapnara has broken ground in long career". The Times. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  13. ^ Grillo, Ralph (1988). Muslim Families, Politics and the Law: A Legal Industry in Multicultural Britain. John Wiley & Sons. p. 71. ISBN 9781472451217.
  14. ^ Fouzder, Monidipa (19 November 2014). "More part-time judicial appointments in pipeline". The Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Appointment of a Circuit Judge: Sapnara". Courts and Tribunals Judiciary. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Congratulations to Khatun Sapnara Appointed as a Circuit Judge". Coram Chambers. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  17. ^ Broadbent, Giles (28 January 2015). "Judge named Person of the Year at British Bangladeshi event". London: The Wharf. Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Judge Khatun Sapnara first ever BBPI 'Person of the Year'". Bangladesh: Bdnews24.com. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  19. ^ Barnett, Adam (28 January 2015). "William Hague MP launches British Bangladeshi 'power list' in Canary Wharf". London: Docklands and East London Advertiser. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Judge Khatun Sapnara named BBPI Person of the Year". Asian Image. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Judge Khatun Sapnara named BBPI Person of the Year". Newport: South Wales Argus. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Judge Khatun Sapnara first ever BBPI 'Person of Yr'". Bangladesh: The Financial Express. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.

External links[edit]