Supersession of the Senior-Most Judges in Bangladesh in Appointing the Chief Justice and the Other Judges of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court: A Convenient Means to a Politicized Bench

Author(s)

M. Ehteshamul Bari

Details

Faculty editor: Michael Ramsey
Publication: International Law Journal
Volume: 18
Issue: 1
Start Page: 33
Month: December
Year: 2016
Type: Article

Abstract

The Constitution of Bangladesh has provided the President with the unfettered power to appoint the Chief Justice of Bangladesh. However, the President is required by the Constitution to act on the advice of the Prime Minister, after consulting the Chief Justice, in appointing the puisne judges of the Supreme Court¾ the apex court of the nation. This Article finds that in the absence of any specific constitutional provisions specifying that the senior-most judge of the Appellate Division ¾the higher Division of the Supreme Court¾should be appointed as the Chief Justice, a convention to this effect was developed for ensuring that extraneous considerations did not play a part in the pivotal appointment of the Chief Justice. In the same vein, a convention of appointing the senior-most judges of the High Court Division, which is the lower Division of the Supreme Court, as the judges of the Appellate Division was developed. However, both these conventions have been transgressed at regular intervals by succeeding generations of executives, particularly by the current one, for politicizing the superior judiciary of the nation, thereby undermining its credibility in the eyes of the litigants as an impartial arbitrator of disputes. Accordingly, this article concludes that in order to exclude the possibility of appointments on extraneous considerations, the principles of appointing the Chief Justice and the other judges of the Appellate Division on the basis of seniority should be inserted in the Constitution by means of an amendment.