The capability to carry out legal research is indispensable for almost everyone in legal fraternity. While the people in this law community may or may not grow as a student to love legal research, they do come to understand that it is a critical skill they must acquire. The most basic step in legal research is to find the leading case governing the issues in question. As most researchers know, this is far more difficult than it sounds. Often the issues are not correctly identified, or some issues are missed altogether. Issue identification is crucial for effective research. The law is constantly changing. Recent decisions of the courts clearly show the fluidity of legal doctrine. Even where there is a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, split decisions of the court make it difficult to determine how the next case will be decided.
Considering the necessity of understanding legal research and writing for young law teachers and researchers, Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (BILIA) organised a two days workshop on Research and Legal Writing on 11 and 12 May 2018. Held at the BILIA auditorium, the workshop focused on, how researchers can choose a topic; conduct literature review; construct a hypothesis and how to justify and establish the hypothesis. Secondly, stylistic issues, such as organisation of a paper, footnote, bibliography etc. was also discussed. Lastly, discussion on how to find, understand and use reported cases and relevant laws was an important component of the workshop.
Dr. Shahdeen Malik, Honorary Director, BILIA; Dr. Borhan Uddin Khan, Professor of Law, University of Dhaka; and Dr. Md. Rizwanul Islam, Associate Professor of Law, North South University conducted the workshop.
Dr. Malik raised the concern that our legal research areas have been confined to doctrinal discussion, which is obviously important, however; we should now look beyond restricting ourselves to confine our research in doctrinal discussion and give importance to reading judgments of cases for conducting research.
Dr. Khan explained the different sources of law and how to find a law while doing research works. He elaborated on each category of law to make the participants clear on different types of law and their sources.
Dr. Islam added that any kind of inconsistency in statutes or precedents is an area that should attract the researcher to step in. He further emphasised on the originality of work in legal research and clarified that in order to ensure originality of work, one must have to put substantial effort.
In the end of each session, there was question and answer sessions where participants were given the floor to ask questions to the resource persons in order to clarify their understandings.
THE EVENT WAS COVERED BY TASMIAH NUHIYA AHMED, RESEARCH ASSISTANT (LAW), BANGLADESH INSTITUTE OF LAW AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (BILIA).