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Experts: Structural changes on arbitration council will benefit the poor

  • Published at 11:18 pm July 9th, 2019
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Bangladesh is among five countries where the world's extreme poor reside Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Former justice Md Nizamul Haque and chief legal adviser of BLAST, said the arbitration council should have been given the authority to resolve issues related to paying Den Mohor (Dower) to divorced women

Speakers at a view-exchange meeting on arbitration council said making a few structural changes in the council would benefit the lower-income people to resolve marital issues such as divorce, polygamy, and child custody. 

The view-exchange meeting titled “Role of Arbitration Council in Local Level Justice System: Present Context and Way Forward” was organized by the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) at the Daily Star Bhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Former justice Md Nizamul Haque and chief legal adviser of BLAST, said the arbitration council should have been given the authority to resolve issues related to paying Den Mohor (Dower) to divorced women.

This way the divorced women do not have to go to court, he said.

Khandakar Mohammad Nazmul Huda Shamim, legal officer of the Dhaka North City Corporation, said in order to prevent polygamy in men – without their wives' consent – can be prevented if there is a way to track the number of times a person gets married. 

He said if there is a way to track a person’s marital status, it would be easier for the Kazi (marriage register for Muslims) to prevent illegal polygamy.     

While presenting the keynote paper, advocate Tajul Islam, adviser of advocacy and capacity building of BLAST, said people who are from the low-income family goes to the arbitration council and it would be beneficial for that particular population if we can make a few structural changes.  

He recommended that non-Muslim chairmen and members should be in the council if needed as some villages and municipalities have a significant number of non-Muslim representatives. 

MP Mashiur Rahman Ranga, said the family acts have to comply with Muslim laws but they have to be modernized as well.