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Bangladesh: Judiciary Separated from Executive Control

(Nov. 2, 2007) Bangladesh formally declared the final separation of the government's executive and judicial functions on November 1, 2007, at a ceremony at which two separate magistracies for judicial and executive functions were inaugurated.

Article 22 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides for independence of the Judiciary. In 1999 the Supreme Court directed that separation of the judicial and executive functions should be implemented. The government announced the separation of the country's subordinate judiciary from the executive through a Gazette notification in January 2007. (See Global Legal Monitor, February 2007, at 30.) The President will now need to consult the Supreme Court in exercising powers regarding appointment, promotion, and control of the judicial service.

The November 1 ceremony marked the inauguration of two new magistracies, the Dhaka District Judicial Magistracy and the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistracy. 218 judicial magistrates were appointed, while the judicial power of 170 administrative officials was withdrawn.

The ceremony was attended by leading officials and dignitaries. In a speech at the ceremony, Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed, the head of the interim government, emphasized that the separation of the judiciary from the executive branch must be complemented by reforms in the police, the courts, and the legal profession. (Julfikar Ali Manik, Judiciary Freed From the Executive Fetters Today, The Daily Star, Nov. 1, 2007, available at