When Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation on December 16, 1971, the founding fathers sought to establish a liberal democracy that would uphold the rule of law and the fundamental human rights of individuals. However, this paper will demonstrate that after almost 50 years of independence, the promise of a liberal democracy has remained elusive in Bangladesh. The current government of the Bangladesh Awami League has resorted to one draconian measure after another to suppress any threat to its aspiration of perpetuating power, as is evident from the fact that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not shied away from resorting to: a) the draconian Digital Security Act, 2018 for persecuting critics of its mismanaged response to the pandemic; and b) heinous tools, such as extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance, to put down adversaries. Thus, this paper will put forward recommendations for ensuring the realisation of the elusive promise on which the nation was founded.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!