Legal Aid

Legal Aid

1. Introduction:

The civilization is based around an enormously stratified system of top-down control. A leader is in charge of the general behavior of the masses – it doesn’t matter if it is a democracy or a monarchy or fascism, always there is a leader at the top and a series of larger and larger groups of less and less powerful people. Imagine it like a pyramid. Law is required for the firmness of the nation; it keeps the peasants or proletariat or electorate (depending on the system) from realizing they outnumber the people in charge and can rise up to overthrow the operation of the system. This keeps societies running – for better or for worse. We must understand that law is meant to prevent behaviors the society deems offensive by inhibiting thoughts of those behaviors through promise of extreme punishment. At the point where the citizens of a nation-state give up on the validity of law – through civil disobedience for instance – revolution occurs. Revolution – to revolve – is usually just that a new group ascending to the top of the pyramid, enacting laws to protect their status and newly increased rights and privileges and then eventually being dismayed upon. Law slows this process of “my turn” down significantly, providing continuity.

2. Methodology:

My goal is to get as relevant information that will be useful for the assignment. At this point of time, I have collected secondary data. It is necessary to be sincere while collecting these data and I tried my level best to achieve my target with honesty and hard work.

3. Hypothesis:

My hypothesis about this topic is that; law is the minimum legal obligation that we need to follow and law is already designed in such a way so that we can implement ethics and human rights in every aspects of our life, but due to the lack of morality and implementation of law, sometimes we are not able to get our rights properly.

4.0 Background:

As I am working on the topic “law as a minimum legal obligation that we need to follow”, first it is necessary to understand the concept of “Law” as a minimum legal obligation and its influences in our life and society.

4.1 Why do we have to obey the law?

Every legal system contains obligation-imposing laws, but there is no decisive linguistic marker determining which these are. The term “obligation” need not be used, nor its near-synonym, “duty.” One rarely finds the imperative mood. Legal positivism rejects the idea that the legal bindingness can be essentially or necessarily based on moral values or on principles of justice, one reason being that, since value judgments are controvertible, the certainty and autonomy of law would be lost. In order to ascertain the existence of law, it is necessary to describe it in terms that are purely factual, empirical, based on the observation and interpretation of social facts. These rules are out the possibility of it being ultimately legitimate to have recourse to natural morality[1].

4.2 Society without law:

A lawless society is called “Anarchy” – it is literally where everyone does what they want. Anarchist societies have a really bad reputation, mostly because they’re the antithesis of Civilization and the people in charge don’t want their controlled populations to consider it as an alternative. But essentially, human beings lived in a state of anarchy for about a million years…every tribal organization was a form of anarchy. It wasn’t actually chaos; tribal groups had very stable lifestyles that were very benign to their ecosystems[2]. The biggest fault typically cited is that tribal groups have a “lower standard of living” (the same as saying: access to luxury goods) – which is quite true. But what isn’t mentioned is that they also a much lower rate of depression, anxiety and unhappiness and a host of other mental disorders commonly associated with a neurotic civilized lifestyle.

4.3 What is an Obligation?

“It is generic term for any type of legal duty or liability. In its original sense, the term obligation was very technical in nature and applied to the responsibility to pay money owed on certain written documents that were executed under seal. Currently obligation is used in reference to anything that an individual is required to do because of a promise, vow, oath, contract, or law. It refers to a legal or moral duty that an individual can be forced to perform or penalized for neglecting to perform.”[3]

4.4 “Law” as a minimum legal obligation:

In most of the countries law is a minimum obligation that one for which no legal alternative exists since it is an unconditional duty or a contractual obligation arises as a result of an enforceable promise, agreement, or contract. But we must take it as well as a moral obligation that is binding upon the ethics and it is fair but not necessarily enforceable in law.

Many people think that law is such a thing that will make them bound to do things that they do not want to do, and at the same time law will stop them to enjoy their freedom and rights. But it is a very wrong thought that push many people against law. Law is constructed to make us familiar with our responsibilities towards our nation, its environment, and its citizens. We are saying law is a “Minimum obligation” that means minimum duty or responsibility. As long as we do this duty by our own, law will be with us and if we fail then it will be against us.

5.0 Data presentation and analysis:

5.1 Human rights in the Constitution of Bangladesh[4]:

  • In the constitution of Bangladesh there are lot of acts and articles on human rights. Some of them are given below;
  • The Acid Crime Control Act 2002
  • Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Domon Ain 2000 (Amended in 2003)
  • International Crimes (Tribunal) Act of 1973 (Act No. XIX of 1973) to “provide for the detention, prosecution and punishment of persons for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law”.
  • Legal Aid Act, 2000

Human rights are stipulated in the Constitution of Bangladesh, written in 1972. A source of human rights law is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.The Constitution of Bangladesh also adopted the UN charter of which Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a part.

Part three of the Constitution of the Republic stipulates eighteen Fundamental Rights of which of 17 are taken from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Some of the articles are given below;

  • “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to protection of law.” –Article 27
  • “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.” –Article 28
  • “There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in respect of employment or office in the service of the Republic.” –Article 29
  • “No citizen shall, without the prior approval of the president accept any title, honour, award or decoration from any foreign state.” –Article 30
  • “Right to enjoy the protection of law” –Article 31
  • “No person shall be deprived of life or personal liberty save in accordance with law.” –Article 32
  • “Right to a problem from arrest and detention without specific ground or reasons.”–Article 33
  • “Prohibition of all forms of forced labour and right not to victim of forced labour.” –Article 34
  • “Right to get security in case of trial and punishment.” –Article 35
  • “Right to move freely throughout Bangladesh”–Article 36
  • “Right to assemble and to participate in public meetings and processions” –Article 37
  • “Right to form associations or unions” –Article 38
  • “Right to thought and conscience, freedom of speech and expression and freedom of the press” –Article 39
  • “Right to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation, trade and business” –Article 40
  • “Right to profess, practice or propagate religion.” –Article 41
  • “Right to acquire, hold, transfer and dispose of property” –Article 42
  • “Right to security in his/him against entry, search and seizure, privacy of correspondence and other means of communication” –Article 43
  • “Right to get constitutional justice.” –Article 44

All these articles in the constitution prove that the law of Bangladesh is defiantly designed on the basis of human rights. Though its still a question that how much the citizens of Bangladesh can enjoy their human rights.

5.2 Human rights in law internationally:

Law is different for different countries throughout the world. This difference is because of various circumstances, like; different geographic situations, facilities, economic condition, educational condition, technological development, civilization, and etc. But the base is same foe all, and that is Justice.

United States of America is considered as one of the most developed countries of the world in every aspect. USA has own constitution, human rights, and laws. Though, they could not protect the human rights of their own citizens sometime. There are many factors that influence this sort of injustice. Lice the people who are Muslim and also a citizen of USA are facing many problems after 9/11[5]. On the other hand the black “Black” people are facing a different problem related with racism which is a huge violation of their human rights. But, after Mr. Barack Obama became the president of USA, the things changed positively.

5.3 Ethics in law:

“When most people think of ethics (or morals), they think of rules for distinguishing between right and wrong. This is the most common way of defining “ethics”: norms for conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.”[6]

Most societies have legal rules that govern behavior, but ethical norms tend to be broader and more informal than laws. Although most societies use laws to enforce widely accepted moral standards and ethical and legal rules use similar concepts, it is important to remember that ethics and law are not the same. An action may be legal but unethical or illegal but ethical. We can also use ethical concepts and principles to criticize, evaluate, propose, or interpret laws. Indeed, in the last century, many social reformers urged citizens to disobey laws in order to protest what they regarded as immoral or unjust laws. Peaceful civil disobedience is an ethical way of expressing political viewpoints.

We know that that ethics and law are not the same and ethics is more related to our own norms and values. So our main target should be to develop our ethical point of view and change it positively. We will judge everything with our ethics whenever we will be sure that our ethics are right and accepted by the national law.

5.4 Combination of Ethics and Human Rights in Law:

The constitutions of most of the countries are developed to save the total rights of a citizen. Law shows us the path of peace and our responsibilities towards the nation. We are bound to do our duties as a citizen of a republic nation until or unless we are mentally and physically fit, otherwise law will make us bound to do so. Human rights can be ensured by the law but ethics is such a thing that law can not control. Ethics must be generated by our own observation and values. The following is a rough and general summary of some ethical principals that various codes address – Honesty, Objectivity, Integrity, Carefulness, Openness, Respect for Intellectual Property, Confidentiality, Responsible Publication, Responsible Mentoring, Respect for colleagues, Social Responsibility, Non-Discrimination, Competence, Legality, Animal Care,  and Human Subjects Protection[7]. When a citizen will thoroughly implement these ethics in his day to day activity, it will automatically make him aware about his rights and he will be able to combine the ethics and human rights. Without having ethics, the importance of law and value of human rights would not be understandable properly.

6. Summary of Research Findings:

From my research I found out that my hypothesis was right that, law is the minimum legal obligation that we need to follow.

Law is already designed in such a way so that we can implement ethics and human rights in every aspects of our life, but due to the lack of morality and implementation of law, sometimes we are not able to get our rights properly.

Law is deeply related to our day to day life and in our modern life we are bound to maintain many laws those could be granted as minimum legal obligation.

People do not have a minimum true respect towards the laws given by the government in their mind.

In the developing and non developed countries, corruption is destroying the true implementation of law.

Lack of potential law enforcement is making us less obedient about law and its rules and regulations.

Poverty and illiteracy are the major factors those are interrupting us to establish our real rights[8].

7. Suggestion:

Even though we are living in a modern era when development has become the main priority to every country, still we are fighting to get our rights. Laws are built in such a way in which every citizen will able to enjoy his or her human rights though we are not getting it properly. I am giving some suggestions below to get an anticipated progress from this situation.

  • Education must be ensured to all the citizens to understand the value of law.
  • Strong and corruption-free enforcement is needed to implement law properly.
  • Corruption must be removed from every step of live though it is very difficult to do[9].
  • Our ethics, values, and morality should be improved so that we can differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, angel and devil.
  • We must have a minimum respect towards the laws, rules and regulation that are given by the government and society.

8. Conclusion:

From the beginning of human civilization man has created law and implemented it by any means, either peacefully or forcefully. At that time the rulers created there laws and didn’t bothered about the consequences of those laws on the general people. Today law around the word is designed in such a way that citizens could enjoy their freedom and true rights. But, because of our own fault we are being deprived of this enjoyment. Our own freedom is now depending on our own hand. We just have to be a little bit more concern about our national duties. Our minimum respect and submissive attitude towards national laws can easily give us the genuine freedom and the expected peace that our world really needs today.



[1] Alexy, R. – 1989, “On Necessary Relations between Law and Morality”, Ratio juris, 2: pp. 167-183.

[2] Parker, K. 1988-89, “Jus Cogens: Compelling the Law of Human Rights”, Hastings International Law and Comparative Law Review, 12: pp. 411-463.


[4] The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

[5] Covell, Ch. 1992, The Defence of NL. A Study of the Ideas of Law and Justice in the Writings of Lon L. Fuller, Michael Oakeshott, F.A. Hayek, Ronald Dworkin & John Finnis, New York: St. Martin’s Press.

[6] David B. Resnik, J.D., Ph.D.

[7] Raz, J.(1995). Ethics in the Public Domain: Essays in the Morality of Law and Politics. Oxford: Clarendon Press



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