Bangladesh court ends MPs’ power to sack judges
Dhaka, Bangladesh - Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has scrapped parliament’s power to sack top judges, in a landmark verdict that lawyers said on Wednesday will bolster the independence of the country’s judiciary.
The country’s top court restored a military rule-era provision, which allows only a Supreme Judicial Council, led by the chief justice, to remove judges found to have breached the judicial code of conduct.
The full ruling released on Tuesday was quickly hailed by lawyers as a crucial safeguard for the freedom of the Muslimmajority nation’s secular judiciary.
Senior lawyer Syed Ahsanul Karim said that because of the ‘landmark’ judgment, the executive ‘will have no dominant role over the judiciary’.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina brought the constitutional change allowing parliament - controlled by her ruling Awami League party - to remove top judges in September 2014.
Karim said if the amendment had been left in place, it would have made top judges ‘subservient’ to the government as they would have been under constant threat of removal.
In May last year, the High Court declared the amendment illegitimate after a lawyer filed a public interest challenge.