Bangladesh Bar Council Constitution
The Bangladesh Bar Council is a Licensing and Regulatory Body constituted under the Bangladesh Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Order, 1972 (President’s Order No. 46 of 1972). It consists of 15 (fifteen) Members of whom the Attorney – General for Bangladesh is one and is the Chairman ex-officio. Others are elected by Advocates for a term of 3 (three) years from amongst themselves, of whom seven from General Seats and seven from seven Zonal or Group Seats. The elected members, in their first meeting, electes from amongst themselves a vice-chairman and different standing Committees, viz- Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Legal Education Committee, Enrolment Committee, etc.
The Enrolment Committee consists of the following members:-
- A Chairman to be nominated by the Chief Justice from amongst the Judges of the Appellate Division;
- Two members to be nominated by the Chief Justice from amongst the Judges of the High Court Division;
- Attorney – General for Bangladesh;
- One member elected by the Bar Council from amongst its members.
The main functions of the Bar Council are –
- To admit persons as Advocates on its roll and to hold examinations for the purposes of admission.
- To entertain and determine cases of misconduct against Advocates and to order punishment in such cases.
- To lay down standard of professional conduct and etiquette for Advocates.
To promote legal education and to lay down standard of such education in consultation with the Universities in Bangladesh imparting such education, etc.
In the preamble of the Canons of Professional Conduct& Etiquette “Advocates” are expected to be- “men learned in the law and respected as models of integrity, imbued with the spirit of public service and dedicated to the task of upholding the rule of law and defending at all times, without fear or favor, the rights of citizens. Therefore, an Advocate should be a man of integrity and dignity.
Right to practice: –
Subject to the provisions of Bar Council Order & Rules an Advocate shall be entitled, as of right, to practice throughout Bangladesh, and to appear, act and plead before any court, Tribunal or revenue authority in Bangladesh. [Art. 19(2)]
Enrollment as Advocate does not mean the Membership of the Bar Council:-
When anybody’s name is entered in the roll of the Bar Council he/ she will be known as a Advocate but not as a Member of the Bar Council. Membership of the Bar Council is quite different thing. This is an elected position. Advocates on the roll elect from amongst themselves 14 persons as Members of the Bar Council for a term of three years. The Government may, in some extraordinary situation, nominate persons to act as Members of the Bar Council.
Bar Association Membership of a Bar Association is mandatory:-
“No person shall practiced as an Advocate unless he is a member of a Bar Association of the place at which he ordinarily practices.- [Rule- 06(1)]”
Therefore, an Advocate who is not a member of any recognized Bar Association is not entitled to appear, act and plead before any Court, Tribunal or revenue authority Bangladesh.