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Topics - Mahmud Arif

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Law / The Constitutional doctrine of ultra vires
« on: March 24, 2019, 07:01:19 PM »
This two word, ultra and vires mean Access and Power accordingly, When a person does something that is beyond his jurisdiction shall be declared as ultra vires. Ultra vires acts can be challenged by writ [under Article 102 of Bangladesh Constitution], one of its forms is Public Interest Litigation (PIL); which is a litigation that is intended not for the benefit of one individual but for the benefit of a group of people, PIL can be placed before a court who has no interest on it.

PIL is properly explained in the case S.P. Gupta Vs. Union of India in the judgement it was held that, “Where a legal injury or wrong has happened to a person or persons due to violation of constitutional rights or any other guaranteed rights and the aggrieved persons are not in a position to challenge the illegality due to poverty or helplessness or financial inability or can not got to court such act or cause of action can be brought before the court by any individual who feels that justice must be brought to these aggrieved

PIL has successfully established in Bangladesh via the case, Dr. Mohiuddin Farooque and Another vs. Bangladesh, 1997 where similar observation like India were made in the case the court held that “Aggrieved party” means not the only person who is personally aggrieved but also one whose heart bleeds for his unfortunate fellow beings for wrong done by the government or local authority not fulfilling it’s constitutional or other statutory obligation.

Law / The Denise Johnson case
« on: March 18, 2019, 09:51:56 PM »

Case related to: Forensic evidence
Field of Study: Criminology

A 1992 murder case in Phoenix Arizona in which DNA analysis of plant evidence was used for the first time in criminal proceedings to help secure a conviction.

In May 1992 the body of a woman later identified as Denise Johnson was found outdoors in the brush near some paloverde trees in Maricopa County, Arizona. Her clothing was scattered about the area, and she had been bound with cloth and braided wire. She was from nearby Phoenix and appeared to have been murdered and left at the location recently. A pager recovered at the scene led the police to a suspect, a man named Mark Bogan. The investigation developed circumstantial, but not definitive, evidence against him. One of the paloverde trees at the scene appeared to have been damaged, possibly by a vehicle. A search of the suspect’s pickup, pursuant to a warrant, revealed seed pods from a paloverde tree in the truck bed.

The suspect admitted that he had picked up Johnson, who had been hitchhiking, and had sexual relations with her in the pickup. But he said he had made her get out of the truck after they had argued. He denied being at the crime scene, and he denied killing her.

Police obtained the assistance of a plant molecular genetics specialist, Dr. Timothy Helentjaris of the University of Arizona, who could compare the DNA profile of the seed pods recovered from the suspect’s pickup with those of the trees in the vicinity of the crime scene. The geneticist conducted blind tests on a number of paloverde trees, and the tests showed that each exhibited a different profile. The seed pods from the pickup truck showed identical profiles (indicating that they fell from the same tree), and their profile matched that of one particular tree at the scene. This evidence went a long way toward convincing the trial jury that the suspect’s pickup was indeed at the crime scene, a fact that he had denied.

The plant genetics expert in this case was a university professor. He used a DNA profiling technique called RAPD (randomly amplified polymorphic DNA) that is not regularly used in forensic labs but is common in research. It is a good technique for looking at genetic variation in organisms whose total genetic makeup, or genomes, have not been mapped or sequenced very thoroughly (as was the case with the paloverde trees). The court allowed the evidence because the expert did a good job of running his tests blind and of establishing that there was much detectable variation in the trees.

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Law / The Locard’s Exchange Principle of Crime Scene Investigation
« on: March 10, 2019, 04:46:31 PM »
The key principle underlying crime scene investigation is a concept that has become known as Locard’s Exchange Principle. It states that whenever someone enters or exits an environment, something physical is added to and removed from the scene. This principle is generally summed up by stating: “Every contact leaves a trace.”

Dr. Locard believed that no matter where a criminal goes or what a criminal does, he will leave something at the scene of the crime. At the same time, he will also take something back with him. A criminal can leave all sorts of evidence, including fingerprints, footprints, hair, skin, blood, bodily fluids, pieces of clothing and more. By coming into contact with things at a crime scene, a criminal also takes part of that scene with him, whether it's dirt, hair or any other type of trace evidence.

Dr. Locard tested out this principle during many of his investigations. In 1912, for instance, a Frenchwoman named Marie Latelle was found dead in her parents' home. Her boyfriend at the time, Emile Gourbin, was questioned by police, but he claimed he had been playing cards with some friends the night of the murder. After the friends were questioned, Gourbin appeared to be telling the truth.

When Locard looked at the corpse, however, he was led to believe otherwise. He first examined Latelle's body and found clear evidence that she was strangled to death. He then scraped underneath Gourbin's fingernails for skin cell samples and later viewed the results underneath a microscope. Very soon, Locard noticed a pink dust among the samples, which he figured to be ladies makeup. Gourbin confessed the murder -- he had tricked his friends into believing his alibi by setting the clock in the game room ahead.

Crime is a violation of social rules of behavior as interpreted and expressed by the criminal law, which reflects public opinion, traditional values, and the viewpoint of people currently holding social and political power. Individuals who violate these rules are subject to sanctions by state authority, social dishonor and loss of status. Many theories have been developed to explain criminal behavior. While some theories are not as common, others have evolved and are used in many criminal studies today.

(1) Rational Choice Theory:
Crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act. The view that crime is a matter of rational choice is held by a number of criminologists who believe the decision to violate any law like commit a robbery, sell drugs, attack a rival, fill out a false tax return -- is made for a variety of personal reasons, including greed, revenge, need, anger, lust, jealousy, thrill-seeking, or vanity. Regardless of the motive, criminal actions occur only after individuals carefully calculating the potential benefits and consequences of crime. The drug dealer concludes that the huge profit from a single shipment of cocaine far outweighs the possible costs of apprehension. Rational choice theory has its roots in the classical criminology developed by the Italian social thinker Cesare Beccaria.

(2) Trait Theory:
The view that criminality is a product of abnormal biological or psychological traits. The view that criminals have physical or mental traits that make them different and abnormal began with the Italian physician and criminologist Cesare Lombroso. Having a particular physical characteristic does not, in itself, produce criminality. Crime-producing interactions involve both personal traits (such as defective intelligence and abnormal brain chemistry) and environmental factors (such as family life and socioeconomic status).

On Monday, April 16, 2007, 23-year-old “Seung-Hui Cho” took the lives of 32 people—27 students and 5 professors—at Virginia before taking his own life. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Cho was described as a loner unable to make social connections. He had been involuntarily institutionalized in a mental health facility. Several female students complained to the police that he was showing up at their rooms and bombarding them with instant messages. In a creative writing class, he had read one of his poems aloud, and its sinister content had so frightened classmates that some did not show up the next class.

(3) Social Structure Theory:
The view that disadvantaged economic class position is a primary cause of crime. This view is referred to as social structure theory. Social structure theories suggest that social and economic forces operating in lower-class areas push many of their residents into criminal behavior patterns. These theories consider the existence of teenage gangs, high crime rates, and social disorder in slum areas as major social problems. Most social structure theories focus on children’s law violating behavior. They suggest that the social forces that cause crime begin to affect people while they are relatively young and continue to influence them throughout their lives.

The tiny country of El Salvador (population 6.6 million) is home to more than 40,000 gang members. In the early 1990s, hundreds of members of two of the largest gangs in Los Angeles, the 18th Street gang and the MS-13 gang, who had illegally made their home in the United States, were deported back to El Salvador. The deportees brought Los Angeles gang culture with them to a country already swamped with weapons from an ongoing civil war. Now on their home turf, gang boys recruited thousands of local teenagers into their reconstituted gangs. Joining a gang gives these poor, urban teenagers a powerful sense of identity and belonging. They were also free now to show their courage and manhood by engaging in a never-ending turf war with one another.

(4) Social Process Theory:
The view that criminality is a function of people’s interactions with various organizations, institutions, and processes in society. The social process approach has several independent branches. These are described briefly below:

(i) Social learning theory suggests that people learn the techniques and attitudes of crime from close relationships with criminal peers: Crime is a learned behavior.

(ii) Social control theory maintains that everyone has the potential to become a criminal, but most people are controlled by their bonds to society. Crime occurs when the forces that bind people to society are weakened or broken.

(iii) Social reaction (labeling) theory holds that people become criminals when significant members of society label them as such and they accept those labels as a personal identity.

Under the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act an imprisoned sex offender or child kidnapper must register with the Department of Corrections before release from prison. The law requires that the offender’s name, address, photograph, and physical description be published on the Internet. While some lawmakers may view sex offender registration as an effective method of alerting citizens to the presence of dangerous person in their community, such methods may also have their downside. It is possible that such measure can continuously label a person into social outcast/monster although he has already paid his debt to society and might actually encourage rather than deter criminal behaviors.

(5) Social Conflict Theory:
The writings of Karl Marx greatly influenced the development of the view of crime that rested on the concept of social conflict. The cause of crime can be linked to economic, social, and political imbalances. Some groups in society, particularly the working class and ethnic minorities, are seen as the most likely to suffer oppressive social relations based on class conflict and racism and hence to be more subjected to criminal behavior.

In June of 2009, Amnesty International, the civil rights watchdog organization, published a report accusing the Sri Lankan government of a vicious cycle of civil rights abuse in its war against the Tamil Tiger rebel group. In addition, the Sri Lankan government was accused of failing to investigate civil rights violations, including disappearances and torture of political suspects, in their suppression of the Tamil independence movement. But it was not just the rebels who were hunted and killed. There were more than 30,000 “disappearances” of people considered sympathetic to the Tamil cause, including businessmen, journalists, and individuals suspected of having “terrorist links“; even a vice chancellor of a university was a victim. Once they were taken into government hands, people suspected of aiding the rebels were often never seen again; they just “disappeared.” In addition to this outrage, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were displaced from their homes and involved in crimes.

(6) Routine Activity Theory:
Routine activity theory emerged as a key theoretical approach in criminology in the late 1970s. A key idea of the theory is that people act in response to situations (including when they commit crimes); therefore, the kinds of situations they encounter in their daily lives influence their crime involvement (and, as a result, influence a society’s crime rate). Routine activities theory requires three elements be present for a crime to occur:

(1) A motivated offender with criminal intentions and the ability to act on these inclinations
(2) A suitable victim or target, and
(3) Absence of a capable guardian who can prevent the crime from happening. These three elements must converge in time and space for a crime to occur.

The routine/activities of people over the course of their day and night lives make some individuals more susceptible to being viewed as suitable targets by a rationally calculating offender. If there is an unprotected target and there are sufficient rewards, a motivated offender will commit a crime. The number of motivated criminals in the population also affects crime levels. It is held that offenders are less likely to commit crimes if they can achieve personal goals through legitimate means. This implies that criminal motivations can be reduced if offenders awareness that there are alternatives to crime.

                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you.


Cognitive theory of delinquent and anti-social behavior focuses on human feelings and explains that all external activities resulted from internal mental processes.Certain social factors can affect or alter the internal mental processes, which can reinforce or discourage behavior. When cognitive theorists who study information processing try to explain antisocial behavior, they do so in terms of mental perception and how people use information to understand their environment. When people make decisions, they engage in a sequence of cognitive thought processes. First, they encode information so that it can be interpreted; next, they search for a proper response and decide on the most appropriate action; and finally, they act on their decision. According to this cognitive approach, people who use information properly, who are better conditioned to make reasoned judgments, and who can make quick and reasoned decisions are best able to avoid antisocial behavior choices. In contrast, crime-prone people use information incorrectly when they make decisions.
All three types of phobia (specific phobia, social phobia and agoraphobia) fall into a larger group of psychological issues called anxiety disorders, which are the most common type of psychiatric disorder. Cognitive restructuring, based on cognitive theory, is part of an effective treatment plan for anxiety disorder. During a cognitive restructuring session, the therapist will ask a person several questions, help him analyze his answers to increase understanding of his anxiety, and assists him to rewrite his maladaptive thoughts.
Psycho-dynamic psychology was originated by Viennese psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) and has since remained a prominent segment of psychological theory. According to Freud, the mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water. Freud believed that there were unconscious forces that drive behavior. He developed three techniques are still used by psychoanalysts today, namely:
(1) Dream analysis (examining dreams for important information about the unconscious),
(2) Hypnosis (Creating a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion), and
(3) Free association (freely talking to the therapist about whatever comes up without censoring and redirecting feelings).The mechanism psychiatrists follow today for phobia treatment originated from the free association theory of Sigmund Freud.

1. Introduction to Criminology: Theories, Methods, and Criminal Behavior (Ninth Edition) By Frank E. Hagan.
2. Criminal Psychology: A Beginner's Guide By Ray Bull.
3. Principles of Criminology By Sutherland and Cressey
4. Introduction to Psychoanalysis By Sigmund Freud.
5. The Interpretation of Dreams By Sigmund Freud.
6. Anxiety Disorders and Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective By Aaron Beck and Gary Emery

Law / Ex post facto law from a comparative perspective.
« on: October 11, 2018, 03:27:17 PM »
Ex post facto law:
An ex post facto law is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions that were committed before the enactment of the law. In criminal law, it may criminalize actions that were legal when committed; it may aggravate a crime by bringing it into a more severe category than it was in when it was committed; it may change the punishment prescribed for a crime, as by adding new penalties or extending sentences; or it may alter the rules of evidence in order to make conviction for a crime likelier than it would have been when the deed was committed. Retroactive laws are not preferred because it infringes upon individuals autonomy, and leads to legal uncertainty. For example: The legislative has made abortion illegal but they cannot take action again abortion clinics that have performed abortions before the law was made. They can say "from this day forward" but they cannot go back in time and persecute people for it.So legislative can’t enact ex post facto law.

Position in Bangladesh Constitution:
Article 35(1) of the Bangladeshi Constitution that prohibits conviction or sentence under ex post facto law, “No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than, or different from, that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.”

Position in Indian Constitution:
Article 20(1) of the Indian Constitution in the following words: “No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of commission of the offence.”

Position in US Constitution:
In the United States of America, the federal government is barred from passing Ex Facto Laws; Clause 3 of Article 1, section 9 of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from passing such laws.

Position in UK Constitution:
Retrospective criminal laws are prohibited by Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the United Kingdom is a signatory, but several noted legal authorities have stated their opinion that parliamentary sovereignty takes priority even over this.[22][23] For example, the War Crimes Act 1991 created an ex post facto jurisdiction of British courts over war crimes committed during the Second World War.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related treaties:
Article 11, paragraph 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that no person be held guilty of any criminal law that did not exist at the time of offence nor suffer any penalty heavier than what existed at the time of offence. It does however permit application of either domestic or international law. Very similar provisions are found in Article 15, paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, replacing the term "penal offence" with "criminal offence".

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