Emergency Powers and Martial Law under the Constitution of Bangladesh

Book chapter


Bari, Muhammad Ehteshamul. (2023). Emergency Powers and Martial Law under the Constitution of Bangladesh. In The Constitutional Law of Bangladesh: Progression and Transformation at its 50th Anniversary pp. 367-385 Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-2579-7_21
AuthorsBari, Muhammad Ehteshamul
Abstract

The Constitution of Bangladesh 1972 did not originally contain any provisions for the executive to proclaim an emergency or a martial law. The frequent abuse of these extraordinary powers during the days when Bangladesh was a province of Pakistan led the framers not to incorporate such powers in the Constitution. However, the necessity to insert a new Part IXA in the Constitution, titled ‘Emergency Provisions’, was felt immediately after the Constitution came into force. Part IXA not only empowers the executive to proclaim an emergency to deal with actual or imminent threats posed to Bangladesh, but also to suspend the enforcement of fundamental rights during the emergency. This chapter demonstrates that in the absence of effective safeguards in the Constitution constraining the scope of the exercise of emergency powers, these powers have been conveniently used to subvert the rule of law and impose unwarranted restrictions on the fundamental human rights of individuals. It also sheds light on the fact that, notwithstanding the absence of any reference to the concept of martial law in the Constitution, Bangladesh witnessed two declarations of martial law in 1975 and 1982. Although the Supreme Court declared both proclamations of martial law illegal in 2010, it has not examined whether any of the five proclamations of emergency issued under Part IXA were without jurisdiction or mala fide. The chapter concludes with some suggestions for preventing the use of these powers for extraneous purposes.

KeywordsEmergency power; Martial law; Executive proclamation; President; Parliament; Fundamental rights enforcement; Safeguards; Rule of law; Judicial responses
Page range367-385
Year01 Jan 2023
Book titleThe Constitutional Law of Bangladesh: Progression and Transformation at its 50th Anniversary
PublisherSpringer
Place of publicationSingapore
ISBN9789819925780
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-2579-7_21
Web address (URL)https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-99-2579-7_21
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print26 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Feb 2024
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