Bangladesh International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 – Proposal for Conference


Steven Kay QC with Toby Cadman of 9 Bedford Row, met with representatives of Jamaat-E-Islami on 30 June 2010 in London.This is an opposition party from Bangladesh. The reason for the meeting was a discussion concerning the Bangladesh International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973. This act arose after the 1971 war of independence which saw Bangladesh emerge as an independent State separate from West Pakistan.The act was never used to prosecute and is an interesting and little known piece of post-Nuremburg and pre-UN war crimes Tribunal legislation.

The International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 is attached.

Now in 2010 national trials are proposed and will be directed against those who previously supported West Pakistan in the Conflict. These trials will have open rules of evidence and fail to conform to the normal criminal procedures of the State.

The ICLB has suggested a conference to Jamaat in Dakha, for an open discussion by all parties and an analysis of these legal procedures.

The ICLB will be regularly posting developments and information on the blog and Facebook.

We invite comments and debate on a matter that will be of interest to all international lawyers and ICLB supporters.

8 Responses to “Bangladesh International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 – Proposal for Conference”

  1. Tanim Shawon

    Before ICLB gets involved in this matter either due to persuasion by Jammat or on its own motion, it should research into the context in which the 1973 Act was passed (including why it has not been applied until now despite persistent demand by the martyr-families and liberal political parties), the atrocities committed, with the support of Jammat, by the Pakistani armed forces in 1971 and the role of Jammat in the subsequent times as an Islamic fundamentalist force.

    It will be a great fallacy if Jammat succeeds to portray themselves as at the receiving end of some “extra-judicial” procedure initiated by the present government of Bangladesh.

  2. Farhana London

    This trial is Completely politically motivated. Bangladesh Awami legue found Jamate Islami as a barrier to getting power and politics. Jamate Islami, a key political secission maker, has a good tie with BNP which has been enjoying power for last 15 years in help of this Islamic party. Hasina Government knows that without inihilating this Islamic party, they can not come back to the power again through the vote. therefore they really need to wipe out this ideal, peace loving islamic party. we believe that no leader of this party are involve with any crime which is being told. this leaders are victims of political holiguns.

  3. M Assghar

    Opposing a war and committing a war crime are not essentially same. Yes, those who consciously or actively engaged in crime should stand trial. Who are the guilty parties? Both sides of the conflict can engage in war crimes, as we have seen in recent Bosnian War Crime tribunals. In South Africa, once the apartheid was over, truth Commission found the criminals and punish them by the law.

    In context of Bangladesh, the mischief of political parties, mainly Bangladesh Awami League convoluted the proceedings of the tribunal, when they arrested 4 political leaders of the same party without any proper allegation of their criminal activities in the court of Law.

    This is alarming, politicizing this contentious issue of humanity for political gain axes the core principle of justice. The propaganda against those arrested so-called war criminals actually victimize the judicial procedures and might denied the justice for those innocent (?) victims.

    In the name of Justice & Humanity, should we let this injustice to continue?

  4. abdur rakib

    Bangladesh Founder sakh mojibur rahman solved war crime at 1971 in Bangladesh.India want to vanish Liberty of Bangladesh,So they 1st selected target is Bangladesh jamaat-e-islam.
    jamat leaders didn’t involve with war crime.that time they were the top war criminal they included some jamat leaders name those leaders were born after independence.
    we want to solution of war crime.government goal is not solution of war crime.They made this issue for vanish of opposition party.Prime minister sakh hasina relative enginiar mosharrof hossain is a war criminal,she gift him ministry.Actualy war crime issue is a international conspiracy of Bangladesh.We hope Bangladashi people understood this conspiracy.


    this trial will breed a communal violence and religious. additionally it is politically purpose.

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