Chapter introduction

Human Security in Bangladesh

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2.3.3 Human Security in Bangladesh
The public perception of human security in Bangladesh is one of widespread violations, especially against the poor and disadvantaged, and of an inefficient, complex and corrupt criminal justice system. Different report reviews human security and provides recommendations for change. It finds that 'anti-poor' elements of Bangladesh's criminal justice system include the bail system, costly and cumbersome court procedures, and wide misuse of discretionary powers by the police. There is also a significant 'implementation gap' in the enforcement of existing laws due to police and court inefficiencies. The State's entrenched system designed to protect the perpetrators of gross human rights abuses through and extensive culture of impunity, creates serious grievances and a loss of faith in the justice institutions for victims, as for example, illegal arrests, arbitrary detention, custodial torture, extra-judicial killings and disappearances, as well as for their and the wider public who also live in a climate of fear.

Chapter 3

3.1 Criminal Justice Process
It is important to realize that criminal justice refers to a process as well as to a system of agencies and organizations. A comprehensive view of this process would normally include the following ten critical points:

  1. Investigation;

  2. Arrest and booking;

  3. Custody;

  4. Formal complaint;

  5. Initial court appearance- preliminary hearing;

  6. Arraignment;

  7. Bail-detention;

  8. Adjudicating;

  9. Disposition (sentencing);

  10. Appeal.9

The criminal justice process normally proceeds in a step-by-step fashion. When a criminal statute has been violated, a police officer first seeks to locate the possible offender. If the officer succeeds, s/he then arrests the offender, files a criminal complaint against him/her, and has him/her brought before a judge or magistrate as quickly as possible. If the offense is relatively minor, the judge may dispose of the case immediately; if the crime is more serious, the judge formally acquaints the defendant with the charge, seeks to have counsel provided, and takes possible action on bail. The public prosecutor is then notified of the case and, if the defendant pleads not guilty to the charge, the case goes to trial. The facts and evidence of the case are then developed by the prosecution on behalf of the defendant. A trial on the merits is then held either before a judge alone or before a jury under direction of a judge to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant. If the defendant is found guilty, s/he is then sentenced by the judge to a period of incarceration or directed to remain in the community under the supervision and control of probation authorities.10

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