Public lecture on revisiting State-building and the Constitution | The Daily Star
08:09 PM, November 11, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:25 PM, November 11, 2017

Public lecture on revisiting State-building and the Constitution

Bangladesh adopted her Constitution on the 4th of November in 1972 and since then, the day has been observed as the Constitution Day in the country. This month marks the 45th year of the adoption the Constitution. Even after such a long time, the Constitution still remains the center of interest to every person attached to the area of law. Maybe, for this reason, Dr. Kamal Hossain rightly termed the Constitution as an ‘autobiography of a nation’ that allows a cursory glance into the history of a nation and its struggles, and therefore, the importance of this document goes beyond saying.

On 9 November 2017, a public lecture was held on the Constitution of Bangladesh in the premise of the Department of Law, University of Dhaka. The lecture was held under the title, “State-building and the Constitution in Bangladesh.”

Kawser Ahmed, an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, presented the lecture where he talked about the importance of Constitutional Law and State-building in Bangladesh context. In short, he explained different provisions of the Constitution so as to show how the Constitution envisaged the system of State in Bangladesh with view to identifying areas where further institutional developments can be achieved.

Mr. Ahmed maintained an interactive environment throughout the entire lecture. He began his lecture by posing two fundamental questions: why do we need a State, and, who does a State serve? He, then, went on to explain that the most important reason for having a State is the establishment of rule of law in a society.

Thereafter, Mr. Ahmed discussed the idea of State with reference to article 152 of the Constitution of Bangladesh. He discussed the functions as well as the composition of the three principal branches of government, viz. the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. Mr. Ahmed particularly shed light on the persons, offices and positions that keep these branches functional. He tried to explain how the bulk of State powers has concentrated in the hands of a few hundred persons and why check and balance is necessary in and among the state machineries.

In addition to the principal organs of State, Mr. Ahmed also discussed the composition and role of other machineries in our State system, for instance, the Defence Services, the Election Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Auditor and Comptroller General, the Ombudsman etc.

In the end, Mr. Ahmed posed another question – should the Constitution include provision for new institutional mechanisms for facilitating better State-building? He particularly asked the attendees to consider if according constitutional status to the Police, the Central Bank or the Human Rights Commission will serve the purpose of State in a better and effective way. He emphasised that State-building requires not only continuous improvement on the existing mechanisms but also addition of the new when there is demand.  

The whole lecture was moderated by Mohammad Golan Sarwar who is a lecturer in law at the University of Dhaka. The attendees were mostly the students of the LL.B. (Honours), and Masters programmes at the Department of Law. Mr. Sarwar thanked the speaker for giving his valuable time for the lecture and also the students for their lively participation. He then concluded the event with the promise of organizing similar lectures again in the future.

The event covered by Raihan Rahman Rafid, an undergraduate student at the Department of Law, University of Dhaka.

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