School of Law organized the Webinar ‘Access to Justice during Covid-19: South Asian perspective and practice’ on 17 May, Sunday. This is the first event of the webinar series bringing panelist from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan with the idea and purpose of sharing the views and practice of respective judiciaries in providing access to justice during Covid-19. The program has been organized to reflect about the obligations of countries under Goal 16 of SDGs to ensure access to justice for all. The event was kicked off by the key note address of Professor K Shamsuddin Mahmood, Dean of School of Law. He focused on the commitments of countries under UDHR, ICCPR and Goal 16 of SDGs in providing access to justice and cited the example of inauguration of virtual court system in Bangladesh as a praiseworthy attempt. Assistant Professor Ravi PrakashVyas of Kathmandu Law School shared the practice of Nepal judiciary in providing habeas corpus in spite of lockdown. He raised challenges like migrant workers’ safety and asked for regional cooperation. Aastha Tripati, Advocate of Jharkhand High Court mentioned about the modalities of current virtual court proceedings in both upper and lower judiciary of India. The speaker connected this practice as reflection of commitment under the constitution of India in ensuring access to justice. Mir Adnaan Rahman, a renowned academician from Pakistan shared about the experience of Pakistan judiciary in the present crisis. He emphasized on the similarity of challenges among South Asian nations and thus urged for mutual collaboration. Barrister Sharmin Akhter, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, discussed about the inauguration of virtual court proceedings in Bangladesh and the modus operandi of such proceedings. She raised the concern about domestic violence in this challenging time and urged for taking steps on this issue. Saimum Reza Talukder, Senior Lecturer of SoL pointed out the challenges about availing virtual court proceedings for the marginalized and poor communities. He argued that access to technology is a prior condition in ensuring access to justice.
Md. Mostafa Hosain, Assistant Professor of SoL designed and moderated the event. He summarized that the commitment of providing justice particularly to the poor is a must service and cannot be denied under any circumstance. COVID-19 cannot be a ground of halting such service. He concluded that ideas shared in the event should be carried forward so that the region moves on the similar line of combating challenges and benefit from each others’ practice. Faculty members of SoL participated in the discussion. Students and researchers from different countries joined in facebook live and enriched the event by posting fruitful comments. The event is available at https://www.facebook.com/sol.webseries/videos/534238057464687/?eid=ARDiOYgAJd7QAS4yZJrwUutH93_2cHHNYpQDQydarv0c6MF0tEEz9yK3FYFwn17TGoWhWvcRb5r9LEQC