Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC):
The Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC) is a quasi judicial body established in 1972 under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. It works under the provisions of the Article 137 – 141 of the Constitution of Bangladesh and certain other rules and regulations made by the government from time to time. The Chairman and such other members as shall be prescribed constitute the commission. There is also a full fledged Secretariat to assist the Commission. The Chief Justice of the country administers the oath for Chairman and the members of the commission. The tenure of the Chairman and members of the commission is 5 (five) years or 65 years of age whichever comes earlier. If the age permits the tenure can be renewed for one more term. The chairman and the members are appointed by the Hon’ble President of the Republic.
To help Govt. to establish an appropriate civil service for the 21st century through selection of capable & efficient officials for the Republic who would be endowed with high level of integrity and dynamism.
It would generate its resources and energy for (a) selecting suitable candidates for the services of the Republic (b) help the govt. in formulating a welfare oriented service condition for its employees, and (c) to help the govt. in maintaining discipline in the service.
The Government felt it necessary to make the Commission a permanent one under a regular statute. Steps were taken and the Law Commission Bill of 1996 was passed by the Parliament. Upon receipt of assent of the Hon’ble President on September 9, 1996 it became an Act of Parliament (The Law Commission Act 1996 Act no. XIX of 1996).
Composition of the law commission:
As per section 5 of the Law Commission Act, 1996, the Commission consists of a Chairman and two Members. Under the law the Government has got the power to increase the number of its Members, if it deems necessary. The Chairman and Members of the Commission hold their respective offices for a term of three years from the date of their respective appointments. The Chairman or a Member may be re appointed by the Government for the prescribed term after the expiry of the said term. From the very beginning the Chairman of the Commission has been appointed from amongst the retired Chief Justices of Bangladesh and Members have been appointed from retired judges of Supreme Court of Bangladesh except on one occasion on which a Member was appointed from amongst legal academics. Very recently another Member from the legal academics is appointed in the Commission. The Commission is presently supported by two Senior Research Officers, one Senior Assistant Secretary and one Research Officer. There are also some Ministerial Staff to support administrative works of the Commission.
Functions of the Commission:
The functions of the Commission have been described in Section 6 of the Act. Under the Section the functions of the Commission will be as follows:
(a) To identify the causes of delay of civil and criminal cases in various courts and with a view to accelerate their disposal and ensure justice as quickly as possible:
(1) to recommend amendment of laws concerned or enactment of new laws in appropriate cases after examination;
(2) to recommend necessary reforms in order to modernize the judicial system;
(3) to recommend training and other measures for the improvement of the efficiency of the persons involved with the judicial system such as judicial officers, staff, law officers and lawyers;
(4) to recommend necessary measures for improvement of the entire judicial system and specially to prevent the abuse of the application of the laws concerned:
(5) to recommend modernization of different aspects of court management, such as, distribution of works among judges, supply of copies, transmission and preservation of records, service of notices and other relevant matters;
(6) to recommend, an acceptable measure regarding the feasibility of introducing a more efficient and accountable system in place of the present system for conducting the various government cases properly and establishing a separate investigating agency for the investigation of the criminal cases;
b) Keeping in mind the attraction of domestic and foreign investment and necessity of free market economy-
(1) to recommend amendment of relevant laws including company law or legislation of new law in appropriate cases in order to create competitive atmosphere in the field of trade and industry and to avoid monopoly;
(2) to recommend, after examination, measures with regard to relevant laws especially copyright, trademarks, patents, arbitration, contract, registration and similar other matters;
(3) to recommend necessary measures for the establishment of separate courts for disposal of cases arising out of commercial and bank loan matters;
(c) to recommend necessary and timely amendments and reforms of the existing electoral laws administered by the Bangladesh Election Commission;
(d) to recommend, after examination, necessary reforms of the existing laws and women and children and prevent repression of women;
(e) to recommend reforms of existing laws, enactment of new laws in appropriate cases and taking of other acceptable measures for the proper implementation of legal- aid programs;
(f) to identify the various laws which conflict with each other on the same subject and in probable cases, to recommend codification and unification of various laws on the same subject;
(g) to recommend repeal of existing laws which are inconsistent with the fundamental rights and in appropriate cases making amendments with regard thereto;
(h) to recommend, after identification repeal of obsolete and unnecessary laws and in case of necessity, legislation of laws on any subject;
(i) to recommend acceptable measures for the upgrading of legal education, and
(j) to recommend with regard to other legal matters referred by the government from time to time.
Working Methodology of the Commission:
On the basis of Section 6A of the Law Commission Act 1996, the Commission prepares a work plan for each two-year on the conduct of its affairs in which laws are taken on priority basis for review. The said plan is sent to the Government. The Government sends its opinion/recommendations if any on the work plan. The Commission after considering the opinion/recommendations made by the Government finalizes the work plan and informs the Government. The Commission in its meeting discusses the priorities of laws of the work plan and reference if any, made by the Government. In the Commission’s meeting each member is assigned to prepare a working paper/report with the assistance of a Research Officer. Then the Research team considering the nature and scope of the research of the law adopts different methodologies for collection of data and in appropriate cases studies foreign system of law to see how they meet similar problems. The team in the working paper delineates different deficiencies and drawbacks of the law and suggests provisional recommendations regarding removal thereof. The working paper prepared by the team is placed before the Commission for consideration and approval. After approval the paper is widely circulated among the different stakeholders for comments and suggestions. The team scrutinizes different views received from the stakeholders and thereafter the Commission prepares final report and draft bill if necessary, and sends them to the government for necessary action. In addition to the work plan the Commission also works and recommends on the matters referred by the government from time to time.
Provided that The Commission’s recommendations for reform of law will bring the desired result only if they are made into Acts of Parliament. The Law Commission can make research and recommendations, but Parliament alone can change the law for the welfare of the people. As a result of the Commission’s ongoing work, large areas of the law has been the subject of systematic research and improvement.