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Bangladesh - Public Interest Litigation

Public Interest Litigation

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a an innovative form of litigation used in Bangladesh (and other parts of South Asia) where organisations or individuals can seek a legal remedy from the High Court on behalf of a class or group of people. It is intended to allow people, who would otherwise not have access to the court, to have protection of the rights of the constitution.

In Bangladesh, such a remedy can only be sought where it is alleged that a state body or public official has either (a) failed to do something that in law they should or (c) done something that in law they shouldn’t or (b) violated one or more of the fundamental rights of the constitution.

In relation to safety issues, this remedy can be used when, for example, state bodies have failed to undertake inspections, investigation or otherwise enforce health and safety law. When this is done in the context of a death, this failure may in addition be considered a violation of the fundamental ‘right to life’ enshrined in the constitution

It should be noted that since 11 January 2007, a state of emergency exists in Bangladesh and fundamental rights can not be enforced. However, it still remains possible to seek a remedy from the court when state bodies have failed to act in relation to something when in law they should.

To read about the legal provisions within the constitution that allow organisations and individuals to petition the court, click here

To read about petitions involving health and safety issues, court rules and current status of cases, click here

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Page last updated on April 30, 2007