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Bangladesh Constitution: Salient features
Asif Nazrul, Professor of Law, University of Dhaka
Full name of Bangladesh Constitution is The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. After independence in December 16, 1971, the Constituent Assembly was formed with the lawmakers elected in 1970. The constitution of Bangladesh was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 4 November 1972. It came into effect from 16 December 1972. As of today, it has gone through 15 amendments. Structure

* Divided into 11 Parts comprising 153 (+) Articles. In addition, there are Preamble and 4 Schedules. * The Parts of Constitution concern basic features of the republic, fundamental principles of state policy, fundamental rights, explain three basic organs of the government and the constitutional bodies and deals with emergency, amendments and miscellaneous provisions. Preamble

* Four fundamental principles of constitution.
* Fundamental aims are to ensure rule of law, human rights, freedom, equality and justice, maintaining supremacy of the constitution, international peace and security. Part1: The Republic
* Unitary, independent and sovereign republic.
* Islam is state religion, although equal status and rights of other religions are recognised. * Supremacy of the constitution affirmed and inconsistent laws declared void. * Offences of abrogation, suspension, repeal by unconstitutional means are to be treated as sedition with highest punishment * Rigid constitution requiring two-third majority of total members of Parliament. Article 7A Prohibits nearly 50 Articles by describing them as Basic provisions. Part 2: Fundamental principles of State Policy

* Four basic principles: Nationalism, Democracy, Secularism and Socialism. Other principles derive from them. * Functions of the prinicples: fundamental to the governance, guide to interpretation of constitution and laws, to be applied in making of laws. But not judicially...