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Messages - Ferdousi Begum

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Research & Publication / Re: Can we overcome our academic inertia?
« on: September 29, 2020, 11:31:05 AM »
We are not ready for anything right now due to COVID-19.

Law / Re: Legal Entity of Rivers
« on: September 29, 2020, 11:29:52 AM »
Thanks for reading. I am writing an article on this, hopefully will publish it in the next year.

Thanks a lot Sir. Definition of any legal term might not be exhausted. It has its own pros and cons.

State must fulfill its responsibilities towards the citizen.

Informative for our students.

We should notify our students.

Law / Re: Covid-19 and State’s obligation to safeguard human rights
« on: August 17, 2020, 06:14:51 PM »
I read the article. But even in time of peace, State may not be able to ensure our human rights.

Corporate Legal Job / Re: legal Officer Bangladesh Bank
« on: August 17, 2020, 06:12:35 PM »
We should notify our students.

Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission / Re: Separation of the Judiciary
« on: August 17, 2020, 06:11:10 PM »
Welcome dear.

Students should take part in it.

Stress is not good in any case.

Law / Legal Entity of Rivers
« on: July 17, 2020, 10:21:18 AM »
It has been one year since the HCD of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has declared Turag river as a living entity. There are 17 directives and many observations that have been made by the Court. Specially the one that the State and other concerned departments of the government will comply with this ruling and take necessary steps to save the river from pollution and encroachment. But still we do not see any such steps are taken. Recently though the Uttarakhand Court of India made declaration of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers as legal entity, afterwards they made the declaration void under legal ramifications to abide by the previous order of the Court. Various jurisdictions of this world declared rivers as living entity which may be seen as the legal developments of the environmental law yet there implementation may be a challenge in every jurisdiction.

Law of Bangladesh / Who owns our laws?
« on: February 17, 2020, 02:35:24 PM »
On June 25, 2019, an editorial of The New York Times was published based on the Georgia v Public.Resource.Org (a case about whether the State of Georgia can assert copyright in its annotated state code). The State of Georgia sued the Public.Resource.Org, a non-profit organisation, for scanning and uploading all volumes of annotated Georgia State Code. This, in fact, triggers a pertinent question - should not the law be made accessible for all, and in a democracy should not the people and people alone own the law? Critically, it touches a serious concern on copyright over ‘public documents’. Relevantly, I found a piece published in Spicy IP, ‘‘Shouldn’t we liberate laws from the clutches of copyright law?’’ by Dr Arul George Scaria, which in turn inspired me to write this piece. Dr Arul, explored three key questions, (a) does copyright exist in Act of the Parliament? (b) if so, who owns it? (c) finally, whether reproduction or publication would be considered as exception to copyright infringement? As I understood, on premise of right to know and access law, he aptly argued that Indian laws should be freed from the barrier of copyright and any reproduction or publication should be considered as exception to copyright infringement. I was wondering about the conditions in Bangladesh and how we could relate the similar narrative to our context.

Section 2(40) of the Copyright Act, 2000 of Bangladesh, delineates that “government work means a work which is made or published by or under the direction or control of … (b) the legislative authority in Bangladesh; (c) any court, tribunal or other judicial authority in Bangladesh’’. Section 30 fixes the term of protection for government work until sixty years from the following year of publication. Thus, laws and judicial decisions of Bangladesh are copyrightable by the government. Section 71 of the said Act outlines certain situations and conditions in which reproduction or publication constitutes copyright infringement. Section 72 lists out number of exceptions to infringement of copyright. As per the provisions of section 72(17), the reproduction or publication of Act of parliament per se without any commentary shall not be treated as exception to infringement of copyright of government. However, this would not be the case for any judgement or order of the court unless it is otherwise provided.

Acts of the Parliament and key judgements of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh are now officially made available online and accessible to all for free. Yet, the dearth of accessible up to date official or translated version of laws and judgements exists despite some paid law reports. How far the judgements of the court can be reproduced or published commercially taking advantages of copyright exemption? Regrettably, we see foreign corporation sells our judgements to us, claims copyright over it and makes money from our law schools and research institutes. The question remains should any commercial gains by the private publishers from copyright exemptions be allowed?

 The US ‘fair use’ or UK ‘fair dealing’ doctrine as transplanted in various jurisdictions of the world prohibits commercial use. It was argued by the publishers in Delhi University Photocopy Case (2016); however, the court exempted the ‘course pack’ as ‘non-commercial use’ based on its nature, scale and impact on the market on one hand and the right to education of the students on the other. In 2017, Arpit Bhargava, a petitioner filed a PIL in Delhi High Court challenging the publication of bare Act by private publishers, infringing government’s copyright and making undue profits? It was also argued that government is under legal obligation to make the laws accessible at reasonable price, if not for free, because citizens have the right to know. Similar arguments may be spelled out in our context which would reasonably include copyrighted commercial use of judicial decisions as well.

Surely, the availability of laws and judicial decisions would be useful for furthering our legal education and research to which our honourable Apex Court expressed concerns and provided guidelines (albeit on maintaining quality of it, in Professor Syed Ali Naki and others v Bangladesh and others, HCD, 2016) and Bangladesh Bar Council and others v A.K.M. Fazlul Kamir and others, AD, 2017). The accessibility of law and judicial decisions will justify the imposition of the maxim ‘ignorantia juris non excusat’ and facilitation of constitutional duties of knowing and observing the laws under article 21 of the Constitution of Bangladesh. Thus, the government should adopt initiatives such as creative commons or digital repository and/or allow private entities to make our laws and judgements accessible for free. Thus. the significant question remains, should not we revisit our copyright regime and liberate our laws?

Writer: Ataul Karim, Senior Lecturer in Law, East West University, Bangladesh.


The Research Dissemination Meeting on 'Justice for Rape: Prohibiting Character Evidence in Rape Cases' is held from 3-5 PM on Monday, 20 January 2020 at Chhayanaut Auditorium (House 72, Road 15/A, Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka 1209) organized by BLAST. This event is part of their 'Rape Law Reform Now Campaign', through which they hope to incite discussion among relevant stakeholders about the urgent need to amend some of our discriminatory and exclusionary provisions on rape. BLAST believes it is important that university students are also part of this discourse. Therefore, around 17 students from Batch 35, the Department of Law, DIU went there as participants of that program under the guidance and supervision of Ferdousi Begum, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Law, DIU. Students enjoyed the discussion.

Research & Publication / UAP: Call for Papers
« on: August 07, 2019, 12:21:54 PM »
University of Asia Pacific Journal of Law and Policy (ISSN 2518-024) (UAPJLP), Special Issue on Rohingya Crisis

The Department of Law and Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific (UAP) is going to publish a Special Issue on Rohingya Crisis in the University of Asia Pacific Journal of Law and Policy (ISSN 2518-024) (UAPJLP). Original research based articles in law and policy areas are invited for publication in the upcoming issue. You may submit your manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief Email: UAPJLP@UAP-BD.EDU within October 31, 2019.   

For details, you may visit the following links:
1. Guidelines for submission:
2. Latest Issue:



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