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Judicial activism and human rights in Bangladesh: a critique

Awal Hossain Mollah (Department of Public Administration, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh)

International Journal of Law and Management

ISSN: 1754-243X

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the role of judicial activism as a golden mean approach of judiciary in protecting and promoting human rights from illegitimate interferences of government. With this aim, several case studies have been done on verdicts of higher judiciary in Bangladesh.


This paper is an exploratory case study focused on Bangladesh. The paper is qualitative in nature and based on secondary sources of published facts like books, journal articles and Dhaka Law Reports. Information also gathered through Internet browsing.


Though judiciary is very effective to protect and promote human rights and rule of law in a country through judicial activism or public interest litigation, the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are crucial in Bangladesh. Delay and disposal of cases is one of the great impediments in the process of ensuring human rights in Bangladesh. Besides, negligence in implement the verdict of judiciary and interferences of executive over judiciary is another finding of this paper. Apart from these shortcomings, judicial activism is a very important potential instrument of judiciary to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in Bangladesh.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of this paper is it is based on secondary sources of information. It would have more rich if periodical data can be used for comparing theory and practice.

Practical implications

This paper would be helpful for making a policy for overcoming limitations of judicial activism in Bangladesh to protect and promote human rights.

Social implications

Social awareness can be build-up through NGOs and readers by disseminating and penetrating information of this paper’s findings and recommendations.


This paper would an unique and add new knowledge in the literature of public interest litigation and Human Rights Law in the context of Bangladesh.



Hossain Mollah, A. (2014), "Judicial activism and human rights in Bangladesh: a critique", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 56 No. 6, pp. 475-494.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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