The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is created by the provisions of the Constitution of Bangladesh, 1972. There are two Divisions of the Supreme Court, i.e. (a) Appellate Division and (b) High Court Division. Appellate Division is the highest Court of Appeal and usually does not exercise the powers of a court of first instance. Whereas, the High Court Division is a Court of first instance in company and admiralty matters. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is the protector and guardian of Bangladesh Constitution.
The Judiciary of Bangladesh consists of a Supreme Court, subordinate courts and tribunals. The Supreme Court.The Supreme Court of Bangladesh comprises the Appellate Division and the High Court Division. It is the apex Court of the country and other Courts and Tribunals are subordinate to it. The judgments of Appellate Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court are accessible in the Chancery Law Chronicles.
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or (in South Asia) apex court. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court.
Some countries have multiple “supreme courts” whose respective jurisdictions have different geographical extents, or which are restricted to particular areas of law. In particular, countries with a federal system of government typically have both a federal supreme court (such as the Supreme Court of the United States), and supreme courts for each member state (such as the Supreme Court of Nevada), with the former having jurisdiction over the latter only to the extent that the federal constitution extends federal law over state law; the US states of Texas and Oklahoma also split the functions of a supreme court between separate courts for criminal and civil cases. Jurisdictions with a civil law system often have a hierarchy of administrative courts separate from the ordinary courts, headed by a supreme administrative court. A number of jurisdictions also follow the “Austrian” model of a separate constitutional court (first developed in the Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920).
Within the British Empire, the highest court within a colony was often called the “Supreme Court”, even though appeals could be made from that court to the United Kingdom‘s Privy Council (based in London). A number of Commonwealth jurisdictions retain this system, but many others have reconstituted their own highest court as a court of last resort, with the right of appeal to the Privy Council being abolished.
StructureSupreme Court of Bangladesh:
Supreme Court of Bangladesh divided in two parts. First, the Appellate Division and second is the High Court Division. The High Court Division hears appeals from lower courts and tribunals; it also has original jurisdiction in certain limited cases, such as writ applications under article 102 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, and company and admiralty matters. The Appellate division has jurisdiction to hear appeals from the High Court Division. The Supreme Court is independent of the executive branch, and is able to rule against the government in politically controversial cases. The judges of the Appellate Division are also appointed by the Honorable President under the same provision. All such appointments come into effect on and from the date of taking oath by the appointee under the provision of article 148 of the constitution. A Supreme Court Judge is not removable from the office except in accordance with the provision of article 96 of the constitution which provides for Supreme Judicial Council empowering it to remove a judge of the Supreme Court from the office upon allowing the delinquent judges an opportunity of being heard. Supreme Court judges are independent in their judicial function as empowered through article 94(4) of the constitution.
Judgments of Supreme Court of Bangladesh:
As per Article 111 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, 1972, the Supreme Court judgments have binding effects and the article provides that the law declared by the Appellate Division shall be binding on the High Court Division and the law declared by either division of the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts subordinate to it.
These judgments are usually digested in the Bangladesh Supreme Court Digest. There are also many law reports which publish the judgments and orders of the Supreme Court. All these law reports are in printed volumes. Only Chancery Law Chronicles offers the online service of judgments of Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
Though the Judiciary of Bangladesh consists of a Supreme Court, subordinate courts and tribunals. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh comprises of the Appellate Division and the High Court Division. It is the apex Court of the country and other Courts and Tribunals are subordinate to it. The Appellate Division shall have Jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgments, decrees, orders or sentences of the High Court Division. It has rule making power for regulating the practice and procedure of each division and of any Court subordinate to it.
The High Court Division, though a Division of the Supreme Court, is for all practical purposes, an independent court with its powers, functions and jurisdictions well defined and determined under the Constitution and different laws. It has both appellate as well as original jurisdiction. It hears appeals from orders, decrees and judgments of subordinate courts and tribunals. It has original jurisdiction to hear Writ Applications under article 102 of the Constitution, which is known as extra ordinary constitutional jurisdiction. It has further original jurisdiction, inter alia, in respect of company and admiralty matters under statutes. The High Court Division, in special circumstances, has also powers and jurisdiction to hear and dispose of cases as the court of first instance under article 101 of the Constitution. The High Court Division shall have Superintendence and control over all Courts and tribunals subordinate to it.
The Appellate Division:
The Appellate Division shall have Jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgments, decrees, orders or sentences of the High Court Division. It has rule making power for regulating the practice and procedure of each division and of any Court subordinate to it. Chancery Research and Consultants Trust (CRC-Trust) maintains a website Chancery Law Chronicles-First ever Online Database of Bangladesh Laws where it has already included 4500 judgments of the Appellate Division and High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh from 1972 to till date.
Power to dispense and inherent powers are (The Supreme Court of Bangladesh
(Appellate Division) Rules, 1988, p.46-47)
1. The Court or any Judge or Judges thereof may, for suf1icient cause shown, excuse the parties from compliance with any of the requirements of these Rules, and may give such directions in matters of practice and procedure as it shall consider just and expedient.
2. An application to be excused from compliance with the requirements of any of the Rules shall be addressed in the first instance to the Registrar, who shall take the directions of the Court or of any Judge or Judges thereof and communicate the same to the party or parties as the case may be.
3. The Court may enlarge or abridge any time appointed by these Rules, or fixed by any order enlarging time, for doing any act or taking any proceeding, upon such terms (if. any) as the justice of the case may require, and any enlargement may be ordered, although the application therefore is not made until after the expiration of the time appointed or allowed.
4. The Court may at any time; either of its own motion of on the application of any party, make such orders as may be necessary or reasonable in respect of any of the matters mentioned in these Rules. The Court may issue summons to persons whose attendance is required either to give evidence or to produce documents, or order any fact. To be proved by affidavit.
5. The Court shall have power to pass any decree and make any order which ought to have been passed or made and to pass or make such further or other decree or order as the case may require, and this power may be exercised by the Court notwithstanding that the appeal is as to part only of the decree and may be exercised in favor of all or any of the respondents or parties, although such respondents or parties may not have filed any appeal or objection.
6. Where there are two or more appeals arising out of the same matter the Court may at any time either on its own motion or on the application of any party order that the appeals be consolidated.
7. At any time before or as soon after the commencement of arguments at the final hearing of a case as may be feasible, the Court will ascertain from the counsel of each party to be heard the time which the counsel’s arguments on the matter are likely to take. The Court may then fix the time for the arguments of each party or each counsel. The council may be’ permitted to supplement the oral arguments by written submission, but will not be allowed to exceed· the time so fixed unless the Court itself considers it necessary, or desires that should do so on any matter requiring further elucidation by oral arguments.
8. Nothing in these Rules shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent powers of the Court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the Court.
9. Where at any stage of the proceedings in the Court, there has been a failure to comply with these Rules, the failure shall be treated as an irregularity and shall not nullify the proceedings or the judgment. The Court may on such terms as to costs or otherwise, as it thinks just, set aside either wholly or in part the proceedings in which failure has occurred.
Supreme courts typically function primarily as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts. In a minority of jurisdictions, the “Supreme Court” is not in fact the highest court; examples include the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and the former Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales. Conversely, the “supreme court” in some jurisdictions is sometimes known by a different name; for example, the High Court of Australi
Law of Bangladesh.(n.d.).retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Bangladesh
Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.(n.d.). retrieved from http://www.minlaw.gov.bd/supremecourt.htm
Supreme Court,(1988).The Supreme Court of Bangladesh(Appellate Division) Rules.Tejgaon, Dhaka: The Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
Supreme court.(n.d.).retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_court