Criminal Sentencing in Bangladesh

From Colonial Legacies to Modernity

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In Criminal Sentencing in Bangladesh, Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman critically examines the sentencing policies of Bangladesh and demonstrates that the country’s sentencing policies are not only yet to be developed in a coherent manner and shaped with an appropriate and contextual balance, but also remain part of the problem rather than part of the solution. The author forcefully argues that the conception of ‘sentencing policies’ cannot and should not always be confined exclusively to institutional understandings. The typical realities of post-colonial societies call for rethinking the traditional judiciary-centred understanding of what is meant by criminal sentences. This book thus raises the question for theoretical sentencing scholarship whether the prevailing judiciary-centred understanding of sentencing should be rethought.
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Biographical Note

Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman, PhD (2013), SOAS, University of London, is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Dhaka. He co-authored Protection of Minorities: Regimes, Norms and Issues in South Asia(2012).

Table of contents

Acknowledgements
Foreword: Criminal Sentencing in an Age of Chaos, Professor Werner Menski
List of Abbreviations
1. Introduction
Problems of Sentencing Scholarship Today
Analytical and Methodological Framework of the Book
Structure of the Book
2. Troublesome Issues in Sentencing: Balance in Constantly Changing Contexts
State Power to Criminalise and Punish
Extent of the Criminalisation Power
Nature of the Power to Punish
Criminalisation and Punishment by Non-state Actors vis-à-vis the State
Justification of Punishment
Deterrence Theory
Incapacitation Theory
Rehabilitation Theory
Retributive Theory
Limitations of Traditional Theories
Quantum of Punishment
Proportionality in Sentencing
Consistent v. Individualised Sentencing
Legal Factors of Sentencing
Forms of Punishment
Death Penalty
Imprisonment
Non-custodial Punishments
3. Colonial Transformation of Sentencing Policies of Bangladesh: A Historical Account
Pre-colonial Period: Operation of Hindu Law
Pre-colonial Period: Operation of Muslim Law
Colonial Onslaught during the British Raj
Pakistani Period: Colonial Legacy Continues
4. Sentencing Policies of Bangladesh: The Locus of State Authority
A Narrative of Political and Legislative Developments
The Era of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Military and Quasi-military Rule
Democratic Rule since 1991
State Power to Criminalise and Punish in Bangladesh: Towards a Critical Analysis
The State’s Power to Criminalise
The State’s Power to Punish
Criminalisation and Punishment by Non-state Actors
5. Sentencing Policies in Bangladesh: The Legal Framework
Justification of Punishment in Bangladesh
Quantum of Punishment in Bangladesh
The Death Penalty in Bangladesh
Other Forms of Punishment in Bangladesh
6. Sentencing Calculus in Bangladesh: A Case Study
7. Conclusion
Appendix: List of cases studied for the purpose of chapters 5 and 6
bibliography; index.

Readership

Judges, policymakers, librarians, scholars and researchers having an interest in the history of colonial legal developments in South Asia, and students, especially those of comparative criminal law.

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