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Legal Aid for Ensuring Access to Justice in Bangladesh: A Paradox?


This article examines the government-funded legal aid system of Bangladesh. It indicates that the Bangladeshi legal aid system is lacking in terms of both legal provisions and the actual performance of the Legal Aid Services Act. The inadequacies in the implementation of the Act even raise the concern of whether the government has any intention to use the legal system to improve the condition of the poor or whether it intends to establish a legal aid system that is directed to providing mere lip service to the poor. The Bangladeshi legal aid system is therefore in a paradox; the state has established an institution that exposes its drawbacks and is not able to meet the needs of the beneficiaries. The article finally makes recommendations in order to redress the deficiencies of the system and thus to ensure effective access to justice for those who are in need of the service.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence to Farzana Akter, Assistant Professor, Department of Law, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. E-mail address:
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Francesco Francioni (2007) “The Development of Access to Justice in Customary Law,” in F. Francioni, ed, Access to Justice as a Human right, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 157.

Jon T. Johnsen (2006) “How Has the Complexity of the Law and the Market for Legal Expertise Impacted on the Development of Legal Aid in Norway?13 International Journal of the Legal Profession 1939.

Richard Moorhead (1998) “Legal Aid in the Eye of a Storm: Rationing, Contracting, and a New Institutionalism.” 25 Journal of Law and Society 365387.

Alan Paterson (1996) “Professionalism and the Legal Services Market.” 3 International Journal of the Legal Profession 137168.

John A. Tull (1994) “Assessing Quality and Effectiveness in Legal Services Programs for the Poor.” 1 International Journal of the Legal Profession 211221.

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Asian Journal of Law and Society
  • ISSN: 2052-9015
  • EISSN: 2052-9023
  • URL: /core/journals/asian-journal-of-law-and-society
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