Extrajudicial Killing in Bangladesh

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  • Topic: Human rights, Extrajudicial punishment, Law
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2012
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Recent Trend of ‘Extrajudicial killing’ in Bangladesh: A Study into its Causes with Selected Case Studies

November 10, 2012 UNIVERSITY OF DHAKA

Introduction:

There is an implicit tension in the relationship between states and rights: states are simultaneously a threat to human rights and their principal protector. It is now universally accepted that states are responsible for human rights conditions within their borders, but this responsibility has two dimensions that

Even if well-intentioned, weak states may not be able to prevent abuses by powerful private actors. States with corrupt, poorly paid police, judges, and civil servants may be unable to control their own agents.

may conflict with one another. It is widely agreed that states ought to ensure that the rights of their citizens are respected by both abstaining from abuse and preventing private parties from committing abuses. Yet, empirically, it is possible that states may be unable to discharge this responsibility. Many states are weak, plagued with corruption, and

unable to effectively police their territories. Even if well-intentioned, weak states may not be able to prevent abuses by powerful private actors. States with corrupt, poorly paid police, judges, and civil servants may be unable to control their own agents. If the weakness of the state itself leads to human rights abuses, this has important implications for where the blame should be lodged and how problems can best be addressed. For instance, shaming governments with poor human rights records has been one of the primary ways NGOs have sought leverage on human rights issues. Shaming can work only if a state has the capacity to remedy human rights abuses and lacks the will. Willingness to create better conditions is a moot point if states cannot police their territories or control their agents. Weak states create conditions ripe for human rights abuse because they cannot restrain powerful citizens and lose control over their own employees. This has important implications for determining responsibility for human rights abuses and addressing them effectively.

Extrajudicial killing: Definition
There is a need for a clear-cut definition of what „extrajudicial killing‟ is, because in a simple sense homicide and murder are „extrajudicial killings‟ too. The name is a confusing since every killing, outside of the death penalty, is extrajudicial. Shouldn‟t the crime be called a An extrajudicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process

„political killing‟ instead? When will a case fall under „extrajudicial killings‟ in order that the special court can assume jurisdiction?

The word extrajudicial refers to actions
outside the judicial (court) system. Extrajudicial killing is also known as extrajudicial execution,

extra legal execution etc. Extrajudicial execution‟ refers to killings committed outside the judicial or legal process, and at the same time, illegal under relevant national and international laws. An American court in the case Sinaltrainal v. Coca-Cola Co., 578 F.3d 1252 (11th Cir. Fla. 2009) defined extrajudicial killing as a deliberated killing not authorized by a previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. The above two definitions has described extrajudicial killing in a much wider sense. In modern legal and practical world the word has acquired much narrower and exact meaning. Moreover, these definitions lack a very important piece of puzzle in understanding the popular meaning of extrajudicial killing. And that is the involvement of public officials mainly law enforcement agencies. A very comprehensive and effective definition is given by Professor Nigel Rodley. Professor Nigel Rodley has defined extrajudicial executions as “killings committed...
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