15 September, 2013

JFA Honors Champion of Judicial Reform on International Day of Democracy

Last Updated: 19 September 2013


Justice Sinha receives Champion of Judicial Reform Award. Justice Sinha delivering presentation to law students and faculty. Law student during question and answer session.

On September 15, USAID’s Justice for All (JFA) Program sponsored an event in collaboration with the University of Dhaka's Department of Law to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Democracy. First celebrated in 2008, the International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to reflect upon the state of democracy in the world. More than one hundred Masters of Law students and faculty attended the event during which JFA recognized the Honorable Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, Appellate Division, Supreme Court of Bangladesh and the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission, as a Champion of Judicial Governance Reform. This award honors Justice Sinha's efforts to promote enhanced judicial governance and to advocate for reforms that will improve service delivery to the public.


Justice Sinha presented a paper on “The Judiciary’s Role in Promoting Human Rights,” which discussed the evolution of international human rights following the atrocities of World War II and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Justice Sinha reminded the students of the power of human determination in the progress and application of fundamental rights, equality under the law, and liberty and justice. “All people have the right to the same of fundamental rights; no one group can be afforded rights that are not applied to all,” the Justice noted.


Justice Sinha also emphasized the importance of the right to a healthy and clean environment, noting that the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has battled to protect wet lands and natural resources to preserve the environment for the next generation. Justice Sinha reminded the students of their duties as lawyers and judges of the future, to continue in the role of defenders of human rights in a democratic process.


During the question and answer session, Justice Sinha addressed the students' concerns about the political polarization of the upcoming elections. Justice Sinha asserted that political parties devoid of democracy cannot promote democracy, and patience is needed as Bangladesh's young democracy continues to grow.


Following this successful event, JFA will continue to promote the exchange of ideas between judicial leaders and the future generation of lawyers and judges, encouraging dialogue on important judicial reform and judicial governance themes, including the role and contribution of the judiciary to democracy and human rights, court excellence, and access to justice.