CALL FOR PAPERS: Bangabandhu, Law and State Making

On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of our independence and the birth centenary of the country’s architect, the father of the nation, Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Empowerment through Law of the Common People (ELCOP) is going to publish an anthology in honour of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by 17th March 2020. We are pleased to solicit contributions from academics, researchers, legal scholars and law students focusing on Bangabandhu’s life, politics, leadership, vision, contributions to law and state building and so forth.

Prologue to the Publication

Bangabandhu, the father of the nation, is a name Bangladesh was born with. Bangabandhu and Bangladesh represent a symbiotic tie. He is an epitome of supreme sacrifice to materialize a nation’s right to self-determination. Under his charismatic leadership freedom loving Bengali people stood firm and united for a long struggle for independence which resulted in a sovereign country we proudly call today our motherland. Thus, the political life of Bangladesh can never be imagined in isolation from the political life of Bangabandhu. Immediately after independence, Bangabandhu embarked on a second revolution which is the reconstruction of the newly independent state. Against all odds embroiled in the perils of schism and factionalism in both the state apparatus and political structure, his pursuit of state building proceeded with sheer determination, courage and self-confidence. He strongly held the helm of the war-battered and economically paralysed country to translate the dreams and aspirations of a Bengali people into reality. Like the phoenix bird of classical mythology, he left no stone unturned to raise the country from the ashes.

Bangabandhu’s contribution in the making of Bangladesh Constitution is unique and phenomenal. As a matter of priority, he deeply concentrated on drafting the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of Bangladesh, that would embrace the core values and spirit of the Liberation War. In a space of 12 months’ time, he gifted us one of the finest constitutions a newly independent country could possibly ask for at that critical juncture. Bangabandhu famously quoted to have said that ‘A state without a Constitution is like a boat without oarsman’. In fact, the very foundation of Bangladesh Constitution was laid by Bangabandhu through his progressive delineation of the four fundamental principles embodied in our Constitution. His constitutional philosophy thoroughly reflected his vision to establish Bangladesh as an egalitarian society based on the ideals of social justice and economic emancipation of the working-class people. His philosophy on the fundamental principles of state policy continues to serve as the core guiding spirit of our nationhood.

During his short-lived but momentous three and half-years tenure Bangabandhu dedicated considerable attention and energy in reforming and enacting laws and regulations in the independent Bangladesh. He led the enactment of more than hundred laws during his tenure to shape the legal order of the independent Bangladesh in line with the constitutional goals and aspirations. He successfully garnered the support and recognition of 140 countries for Bangladesh and obtained membership of all major international organizations and financial institutions including the United Nations and the World Bank. His visionary leadership was further demonstrated in his negotiation of the several crucial agreements with neighboring India including the historic water sharing treaty, demarcation of land boundary and peace agreement. Long before the adoption of the ICC Statute by the international community, Bangabandhu led the enactment of the landmark 1973 International Crimes Tribunal Act to try the perpetrators of international crimes in the 1971 Liberation War.

While Bangladesh was looked upon by many as a bottomless basket, Bangabandhu proved them wrong. His far-sighted pro-people economic policies and diplomatic acumen successfully navigated the economy towards greater stability. His extraordinary foresight and visionary leadership placed Bangladesh solidly on the international plane in a considerably short span of time. At the same time, his unique leadership set the foundation to build the Golden Bengal (Sonar Bangla) he dreamt of. His leadership inspired the international community to the extent that he was described as the ‘Poet of Politics’ by an internationally reputed magazine called Newsweek in 5 April 1971. His leadership triggered impacts beyond national boundaries which made him a true global leader. He demonstrated the traits of a humane leader whose leadership ideals unequivocally echoed the voices of the oppressed around the globe. The brutal assassination of Bangabandhu along with his family may have temporarily halted the task of state-making he begun, but his vision, values, principles and ideas have made their eternal place in the hearts of the people of Bangladesh. His death merely indicates the absence of his body, not the extinction of his glorious legacy.

ELCOP’s mission and vision squarely coincide with Bangabandhu’s ideology reflected in his lifelong struggle and deep conviction for humanity, empowering people, ensuring socio-economic freedom, peace and human rights of the oppressed people. The foundational philosophy of ELCOP and the activities it runs continue to draw unceasing flame of inspiration from the magnanimous leadership and visionary spirit of Bangabandhu. ELCOP takes this rare occasion to pay tribute to the people’s hero Bangabandhu whose timeless appeal not only propels us to pursue the dream of building Sonar Bangla but also teaches us to continue our struggle against injustice and exploitation.

Topics of the paper

The broader heading of the paper should include but not limited to the following areas vis-à-vis Bangabandhu:

  • The Independence of Bangladesh
  • Proclamation of Independence and Right to Self-determination
  • The Founding of Bangladesh Constitution
  • State and Law Making in a Post-independence setting
  • Prosecuting International Crimes
  • Poverty, Human rights and Socio-economic emancipation of the people
  • Foreign Policy, Diplomacy and International Law
  • Principles of Secularism, Social Justice, Nationalism and Democracy

Status of the Publication

ELCOP’s publications are highly regarded in legal fraternity of Bangladesh and beyond. On the satisfaction of an internal review by the ELCOP experts, the submissions will undergo a double peer-review process (both the reviewer’s name and author’s name remain anonymous to each other) before acceptance for publication. All other characters of a scholarly publication will be maintained in process. The volume will be edited by Prof Mizanur Rahman, Dr S M Masum Billah and Barrister Tapas Kanti Baul.

Word Limit

The paper should be written in between 5000-8000 words including footnotes. In case of an extraordinary paper, however, the Editorial Board may make an exception.

Presentation and Style Information

The text should be written in 12 fonts (Times New Roman), 1.25 spaced. The footnotes are written in 10 fonts, single spaced. The publication adheres to Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) for referencing style. Please visit for details:

Click to access oscola_4th_edn_hart_2012.pdf

Footnotes to the title and author(s)’ names should be designated as *, † etc and footnotes to the text should be designated as 1, 2, 3 etc. The asterisked footnote should give the author’s position, institutional address and any brief acknowledgements if required.

Copyright

The authors should agree to grant an exclusive license to ELCOP permitting it to reproduce and/or disseminate the author’s contribution or elements of it. In signing the license, the authors retain the right to use their own material and ELCOP asks that its publication is acknowledged as the original place of publication.

Submission Deadline and Rules

Papers should be submitted as an electronic form (in word format) either in CD or as an email attachment to elcop71@gmail.com by 15th February 2021. The subject line of the email should write “ELCOP Publication on Bangabandhu” on the top. The deadline for sending your manuscript is: 15th February 2021 (Monday).

All submissions should be accompanied by a statement that the material is not under consideration elsewhere, and that it has not been published or is not pending publication elsewhere.

Questions and clarifications may be addressed to:

Tapas Kanti Baul, Barrister-at-Law
Executive Director
Empowerment through Law of the Common People (ELCOP)
Email: tkbaul@gmail.com

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