Peace is a quality describing a society or a relationship that is operating harmoniously. A peaceful society is as where there is absence of hostility or no crime or where every people respects law and order of the society. Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people. In a free society, each and every man lives under a framework of rule of law set by the state under authority from the citizen. The purpose of such rules or laws is to protect the rights of the people. In a free society, it is the actions of government and not those of citizens that are regulated unless they violate the rule of law. The laws regulate our public, professional, social and private life encompassing the boarder line of our responsibilities, privileges and liabilities towards others. The supreme legal document of a proper society is the constitution. Legal systems elaborate rights and responsibilities in a variety of ways. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, which codify their laws, and common law systems, where judge made law is not consolidated. In some countries, religion informs the law. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry, into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis or sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness and justice. “In its majestic equality”, said the author Anatole France in 1894, “the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” In a typical democracy, the central institutions for interpreting and creating law are the three main branches of government, namely an impartial judiciary, a democratic legislature, and an accountable executive. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public, a government’s bureaucracy, the military and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress.
Appliance of law in state
The state or community recognizes law as enforceable in a court. A law is a rule that governs specific actions and relationships that are enforceable and provide for punishment to those who violate the same. The laws can be enacted by parliament in Bangladesh. The President is also empowered to make laws under certain circumstances, subject to ratification by parliament. Laws can be enacted on a local, national or international level.
The law and protections of individuals are not only against private criminals but also in relation to public ones. Under no condition the government can violate anyone’s right by encroaching upon the rights of others. Rather, it is permitted to retaliate against an offender who has forced someone in the act of committing some crimes like robbing, killing etc.
To protect rights, government requires essentially three things: an army to protect against foreign invaders, an administration (civil servants and police) to protect from internal treats, and a court system to settle honest disputes that arise, and to punish criminals according to objectively predefined laws. The supervision of activities of citizens and participation of citizens in some such activities raise the debate about different form of government. All legal systems deal with the same basic issues, but each country categorizes and identifies its legal subjects in different ways. A common distinction is that between “public law” (a term related closely to the state, and including constitutional, administrative and criminal law), and “private law” (which covers contract, tort and property). In civil law systems, contract and tort fall under a general law of obligations, while trusts law is dealt with under statutory regimes or international conventions. International, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law, contract, tort, property law and trusts are regarded as the “traditional core subjects”.
In an unwritten constitution other than the enacted laws by parliament, one of the sources of law is common law or social rule adapted by the society and court as the law of the country. Some laws came into force following the verdict of the courts.
There are some religious laws that are enforceable by the court as private laws and there are some customs and rules of society that an enforceable by the court. The Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) of our society has significant impact on our legal system as the court takes into contingence such out-of-ADR in our society.
Sometimes the court directs the lawmakers to enact laws on certain issues, providing a guideline to fill the gaps of laws and rules.
There are two broad divisions of laws: national and international laws and both are divided into sub-categories of laws as public law for the function of the state and to determine the relationship of the state and the citizens. Private law determines the relationship of citizens and substantive law or procedural laws defines the rights or crimes or any other status. Such laws outline the procedures of civil or criminal litigation.
Most acts of the parliament are the outcomes of the policy decisions taken by the government and the actual policies pursued depend upon the political goals of the government. However, often the pressures for legislation come from interest groups such as civil society, trade organizations or other groups like recently emerged NGOs. Nowadays, the advices of international community and global situation have also created an environment for enacting certain laws. Bangladesh Parliament passed Money Laundering Prevention Act and Anti-Terrorism Act at the advice of donor countries.
Sociology of law
Sociology of law is a diverse field of study that examines the interaction of law with society and overlaps with jurisprudence, economic analysis of law and more specialized subjects such as criminology. The institutions of social construction and legal frameworks are the relevant areas for the discipline’s inquiry. At first, legal theorists were suspicious of the discipline. Kelsen attacked one of its founders, Eugen Ehrlich, who sought to make distinct the differences between positive law, which lawyers learn and apply, and other forms of ‘law’ or social norms that regulate everyday life, generally preventing conflicts from reaching lawyers and courts. Around 1900 Max Weber defined his “scientific” approach to law, identifying the “legal rational form” as a type of domination, not attributable to people but to abstract norms. Legal rationalism was his term for a body of coherent and calculable law which formed a precondition for modern political developments and the modern bureaucratic state and developed in parallel with the growth of capitalism. Another sociologist, Émile Durkheim, wrote in The Division of Labor in Society that as society becomes more complex, the body of civil law concerned primarily with restitution and compensation grows at the expense of criminal laws and penal sanctions. Other notable early legal sociologists included Hugo Sinzheimer, Theodor Geiger, Georges Gurvitch and Leon Petra?ycki in Europe, and William Graham Sumner in the U.S.
The main institutions of law in industrialized countries are independent courts, representative parliaments, an accountable executive, the military and police, bureaucratic organization, the legal profession and civil society itself. John Locke, in his Two Treatises of Government, and Baron de Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws, advocated for a separation of powers between the political, legislature and executive bodies. Their principle was that no person should be able to usurp all powers of the state, in contrast to the absolutist theory of Thomas Hobbes‘ Leviathan. Max Weber and others reshaped thinking on the extension of state. Modern military, policing and bureaucratic power over ordinary citizens’ daily lives pose special problems for accountability that earlier writers such as Locke or Montesquieu could not have foreseen. The custom and practice of the legal profession is an important part of people’s access to justice, whilst civil society is a term used to refer to the social institutions, communities and partnerships that form law’s political basis.
Crime in Bangladesh
Crime in Bangladesh is present in various forms. Organized crime include drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, murder for hire, fraud etc. Other criminal operations engage in human trafficking, robbery, corruption, black marketeering, political violence, terrorism, abduction etc.
Bangladesh is a transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries. According to the Annual Report for 2007 published by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Bangladesh has become the main transit point for trafficking of heroin to Europe from Southeast Asia. The report noted that the porous borders between Bangladesh and India contribute to the cross-border trafficking of narcotics. There are three routes used for trafficking of heroin into Bangladesh: by courier from Pakistan, by commercial vehicle or train from India, and by sea (Bay of Bengal) or by road from Myanmar. An estimated 100,000 people work in the drug trafficking industry in Bangladesh. According to police reports, homicide has increased in the country in recent years. Between 2001 and 2003, a total of 10,331 cases of homicide were reported in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is on top of the list in Software piracy. Software vendors lose 102 million US dollars every year. There is no strict law to stop the crime in this country.
Crime prevention is the attempt to reduce victimization and to deter crime and criminals. It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime, enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice. Crime prevention is any initiative or policy which reduces or eliminates the aggregate level of victimization or the risk of individual criminal participation. It includes government and community based programs to reduce the incidents of risk factors correlated with criminal participation and the rate of victimization, as well as efforts to change perceptions.
Criminologists agree that governments must go beyond law enforcement and criminal justice to tackle the risk factors that cause crime because it is more cost effective and leads to greater social benefits than the standard ways of responding to crime. Interestingly, multiple opinion polls also confirm public support for investment in prevention. Waller uses these materials in Less Law, More Order to propose specific measures to reduce crime as well as a crime bill.
The World Health Organization Guide (2004) complements the World Report on Violence and Health (2002) and the 2003 World Health Assembly Resolution 56-24 for governments to implement nine recommendations, which were:
- Create, implement and monitor a national action plan for violence prevention.
- Enhance capacity for collecting data on violence.
- Define priorities for, and support research on, the causes, consequences, costs and prevention of violence.
- Promote primary prevention responses.
- Strengthen responses for victims of violence.
- Integrate violence prevention into social and educational policies, and thereby promote gender and social equality.
- Increase collaboration and exchange of information on violence prevention.
- Promote and monitor adherence to international treaties, laws and other mechanisms to protect human rights.
- Seek practical, internationally agreed responses to the global drugs and global arms trade.
To succeed, they need to establish a coalition of key agencies such as schools, job creation, social services, housing and law enforcement around a diagnosis. Impressive successful policies to reduce crime in cities such as Birmingham and Bogotá illustrate this as do the local neighborhood successes in Chicago.
Types of crime
Researchers and commentators may classify crime into categories, including:
Analysts can also group crimes by severity, some common category-terms including:
- Federal crimes (US, Canada, and Australia)
- felonies (US and previously UK)
- indictable offences (UK)
- infractions (US)
- misdemeanors (US and previously UK)
- summary offences (UK)
Elements Necessary for a Crime to Occur
1. Desire or motivation on the part of the criminal
2. The skills and tools needed to commit the crime
Primary prevention address individual and family level factors correlated with later criminal participation. Individual level factors such as attachment to school and involvement in pro-social activities decrease the probability of criminal involvement.
Family level factors such as consistent parenting skills similarly reduce individual level risk. Risk factors are additive in nature. The greater the number of risk factors present the greater the risk of criminal involvement. In addition there are initiatives which seek to alter rates of crime at the community or aggregate level.
For example, Larry Sherman from the University of Maryland in Policing Domestic Violence (1993) demonstrated that changing the policy of police response to domestic violence calls altered the probability of subsequent violence. Policing hot spots, areas of known criminal activity, decreases the number of criminal events reported to the police in those areas. Other initiatives include community policing efforts to capture known criminals. Organizations such as America’s Most Wanted and Crime Stoppers these help catch the criminals.
Secondary prevention uses techniques focusing on at risk situations such as youth who are dropping out of school or getting involved in gangs. It targets social programs and law enforcement at neighborhoods where crime rates are high. The use of secondary crime prevention in cities such as Birmingham and Bogotá have achieved large reductions in crime and violence. Programs that are focused on youth at risk have been shown to significantly reduce crime.
Tertiary prevention is used after a crime has occurred in order to prevent successive incidents. Such measures can be seen in the implementation of new security policies following acts of terrorism such the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Obstacles of law enforcement
Most of the people of Bangladesh live under a certain poverty level and few people are aware of the law and law enforcement. It’s one of the main reasons that many people seeking justice are deprived from justice. These are some of the obstacles and limitations in implementing the rule of law:
- The procedure to get justice is a lengthy process. “Justice delayed justice denied.”
- Many crime/violation of rule is overlooked for socio-political reason.
- Involvement of influential person.
- Lack of confidence on law enforcement authorities.
- Witness of crime denies assisting for keeping him/her away from a hassle.
- Weak information report by Police.
The authoritarian and their authority
The enacted laws create the framework of the law, and then the authority is delegated to other regulatory, supervisory bodies to make rules for specific purposes within the scope of the particular act. The rules are also made about detailed procedures for implementation, enforcement and reporting to better supervisory convenience. The regulatory authority is also empowered to interpret the laws. These rules, bye-laws or delegated legislation, have the same legal force and effects as the act enacted by the parliament.
There are different types of delegated legislation: Statutory Regulatory Orders, Bye-laws, Orders of Local Bodies, Court Rules, professional regulations.
The majority of regulations come into force in the form of statutory regulatory orders (SROs). SROs are rules and regulations made by ministries, government departments acting under the delegated power given to them by the parliament under an original act or enabling acts concerning their area of responsibility. Local government and statutory corporations usually make bye-laws within the scope of their geographic or other areas of responsibility. Bye-laws are usually mach when there is no general legislation, dealing with an issue that concerns people in a local area. Local authority bye-laws often concern such matters as traffic management, parking, construction of house, waste management etc.
The court often passes rules against writ petitions or through ‘suo moto’ ruling on certain issues. Recently, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court has set rules on arrest and remand by the police and also against the offence of eve-teasing in offices and education institutions.
Certain professional bodies, such as bar associations of lawyers, have delegated authority under an enabling legislation to regulate the conduct of their members. It has powers to control the conduct of practicing solicitors under the Solicitors Act 1974.
The other regulatory bodies, offices, autonomous bodies etc., make a good many laws every year, apart from those enacted by the democratically elected parliament. These bodies of bureaucrats truly have limitations and need certain safeguards to ensure that both parliamentary and judicial bodies control such delegated legislations.
Parliament has hardly any de facto control over the regulatory authorities although certain acts are subject to approval of the parliament. It is understood that the rules are meant for setting the framework or parameters within which delegated legislation is made. There are some laws employing the Council of Minister to approve the rules or bye-laws.
The legislation may be classified into three categories as Supreme or Ordinary or Direct Legislation passed by the parliament, Subordinate or delegated or indirect legislation issued by the government departments as regulatory bodies under authority of the original law and Special Executive Legislation by the President as empowered by the constitution (Article 93 of Bangladesh constitution).
The law made under the executive authority of the President of the Republic is subject to ratification by Parliament but some of the delegated rules and bye-laws are beyond its preview.
In Bangladesh, there are more than 10,000 regulations (acts, rules, bye-laws, circulars, resolutions etc.) to administer in the country, but most those regulations are hundred years’ old and inoperative. Over 1,100 pieces of laws prevailing in Bangladesh and about 430 pieces of laws were inherited from post independent period and about 700 acts have been passed after independence in 1971. There is no research relating to statistics about laws, rules and regulations in our country. If there are more delegated laws, it means more rules and regulations. It is presumed that 90% of the laws are delegated laws, which are promulgated by the regulatory bodies through executive authority and are not made by the lawmakers. There are reportedly 10,000 regulations and rules available in records of the government. The Bangladesh Bank and Security Exchange commission has more few hundred rules issued to regulate the financial market and the stock market and those are outside the preview of parliament as those that are independent regulatory organizations.
Too many laws and delegated laws do not match with the needs of the people under the present conditions. Considering this situation, the government of Bangladesh should take up immediate actions to scrutinize and de-regulate the law-making process in the country as soon as possible.
Civilization is thought to have come to a stage when we are supposedly living in a rights-based rational society. In order to consolidate our perceived and real gains in this respect, we have created useful laws and relevant institutions. Of the individual rights guaranteed within the constitutional framework of a state, some have been characterized as the most essential or fundamental to our existence as human race. These are universally regarded as birth rights and are inseparable from us, i.e., ‘inalienable’ of human being. Right to life, liberty, conscience, right to freedom of movement and speech, freedom from torture and inhuman treatment are agreed to be the pre-requisite for overall development of a human person including physical, mental, intellectual, cultural and spiritual development. Constraints put up by policies (of a state or informal institutions) on the way of accessing these rights would mean constraints in the process of development of human potentials of that particular nation or race. As a resource poor developing country, Bangladesh unfortunately faces a lot of such constraints. One of the major concerns of the country today seems to be violation of the fundamental rights of its citizens. The particular concern of this note relates to violation of the ‘Protection of right to life and personal liberty’.
1. Auby, Jean-Bernard (2002). “Administrative Law in France”. In Stroink, F.A.M.; Seerden, René. Administrative Law of the European Union, its Member States and the United States. Intersentia. ISBN 9-050-95251-8.
2. Coase, Ronald H. (October 1960). The Problem of Social Cost “The Problem of Social Cost (this online version excludes some parts)”. Journal of Law and Economics 3: 1–44. doi:10.1086/466560. http://www.sfu.ca/~allen/CoaseJLE1960.pdf The Problem of Social Cost. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
5. Hart, H.L.A. (1961). The Concept of Law. Oxford University Press.
8. Smith, Stephen A. (winter 2003). “The Structure of Unjust Enrichment Law: Is Restitution a Right or a Remedy” (PDF). Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 36 (2): 1037–1062. http://llr.lls.edu/volumes/v36-issue2/smith.pdf. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
12. The Constitution of Bangladesh. Part- 3, Article- 26 to 47A
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 Robertson, Crimes against humanity, 90; see “analytical jurisprudence” for extensive debate on what law is; in The Concept of Law Hart argued law is a “system of rules” (Campbell, The Contribution of Legal Studies, 184); Austin said law was “the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction” (Bix, John Austin); Dworkin describes law as an “interpretive concept” to achieve justice (Dworkin, Law’s Empire, 410); and Raz argues law is an “authority” to mediate people’s interests (Raz, The Authority of Law, 3–36).
 The original French is: “La loi, dans un grand souci d’égalité, interdit aux riches comme aux pauvres de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain” (France, The Red Lily, Chapter VII).
 Although many scholars argue that “the boundaries between public and private law are becoming blurred”, and that this distinction has become mere “folklore” (Bergkamp, Liability and Environment, 1–2).
 E.g. in England these seven subjects, with EU law substituted for international law, make up a “qualifying law degree”. For criticism, see Peter Birks‘ poignant comments attached to a previous version of the Notice to Law Schools
 Jary, Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 636
 Rottleuthner, La Sociologie du Droit en Allemagne, 109
 Rheinstein, Max Weber on Law and Economy in Society, 336
 Rottleuthner, Rechtstheoritische Probleme der Sociologie des Rechts, 521
 Johnson, The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology, 156
 Gurvitch, Sociology of Law, 142
 Article 32, Bangladesh Constitution