A public lecture on Enemy (vested) Property Law of Bangladesh was held at the Department of Law, University of Dhaka today, where the discussants highlighted the cruxes of the controversial Vested Property Act of Bangladesh and its implication upon the people, especially the minority communities in Bangladesh. Law students and practitioners from more than 20 different law schools and chambers/ organizations attended the lecture and shared their views and opinions.
The Speaker of the Public Lecture was Ms. Taslima Yasmin, Associate Professor of University of Dhaka. She presented her research titled as ‘The Enemy Property Laws in Bangladesh: Grabbing Lands under the Guise of Legislation‘ which was recently published on Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal. Among the panelists, Professor Dr. Shahnaz Huda,Professor and former Chairman of Department of Law discussed some of the crucial aspects of the issue which needs more attention from the Govt.
The Vested Property Act 1974 was a highly controversial law that effectively allowed the Government to appropriate property from individuals it deemed to be an enemy of the state. The abuse of laws by the government and its agencies to deprive religious minorities of their land continued post independence. Before the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, it was known as the Enemy Property Act and is still referred to as such in common parlance. The act is criticized as a tool for appropriating the lands of the minority population especially the Hindu community of Bangladesh. However, after a number of amendments and developments, in 2001 the then government repeals the Act, and replaced it with the Vested Properties Return Act, 2001. In an effort to restore the confiscated property to its rightful owners, Campaign groups and affected communities, however, noted significant gaps and inconsistencies in the law, which appeared to contradict the basic spirit of the Proclamation of Independence of Bangladesh and certain constitutional rights. The speakers highlighted that even the latest developments are not close to solve the problems.
Bio of the Speaker
Ms. Taslima Yasmin is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the University of Dhaka. She is pursuing her PhD at the Brunel University, London. She completed her LLB and LLM from the University of Dhaka and a consecutive LLM from the University College London (UCL), UK under the Chevening scholarship program.
She has significant number of publications in both international and national journals on topics ranging from access to justice, labor safety standards, domestic violence, acid violence laws and illegal land grabbing in the context of Bangladesh. As recognition of her extraordinary research, she won the prestigious University Grants Commission Research Award back in 2012. Since the early years of her career, Ms. Yasmin also had been actively engaged with a number of national and international philanthropic organizations.
On Dhaka Law Review
Established in 2013, Dhaka Law Review is the first of its kind law journal in Bangladesh edited and managed independently by a cohort of Dhaka University law students. It aims to serve two purposes – to contribute to the legal scholarship and to train law students by providing writing, editing and administrative exposure.
The Law Review holds public lectures to present cutting-edge research on topical issues before the widest possible audience to provoke discussions and debate. It also manages a blog with contributions from academicians, practitioners as well as law students from both home and abroad. Topical and contentious, DHLR Public Lectures aim at presenting research which are of real relevance to the life and society in Bangladesh before the widest possible audience to provoke meaningful discussions and debate.