Publication Type: Journal article / chapter
Countries: Bangladesh
Authors: Nizam Ahmed
Funders: DFID ESRC

This article examines the domestic violence bill in Bangladesh, and the process of its enactment. One of the distinctive features of the bill, passed in 2010, was that it originated in civil society and widespread public engagement characterised its enactment process. Here, Ahmed explores the factors that encouraged different actors to agree to enact the law, and why other areas of public concern do not attract the same level of engagement. Prominent among the reasons underlying weak public engagement in the legislative process, says Ahmed, include the government’s monopoly in the legislative process and its eagerness to pass laws in haste, the dominance of part-timers in parliament, legal restrictions on ‘independent’ voting in parliament, over-centralisation of power in political parties, and the politicisation of civil society organisations.

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