Kathmandu School Of Law (KSL)
in co-operation with Center for Legal Research and Resource Development (CeLRRd)

 

News

       

Highlights on the 4th Winter Residential School

The 4th Winter Residential School on Economic, Social and Development Rights and Good Governance was officially commenced from 21st September 2007 after a week long in-house preparatory orientation. Hon'ble Justice Anup Raj sharma, Supreme Court, Nepal inaugurated the program by officially releasing the ESDR Prospectus.

Highlighting on the present need of good governance, security, rule of law, participation, and cooperation among the people for the New Nepal, he added the spirit on the Residential School mentioning that such platform provides an opportunity to deeply understand the issue and learn best practices from other countries.

Dr. Yubaraj Sangroula, KSL; Ms. Farzana Yasmin, Participant representative of Bangladesh; Prof. Zakir Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Law, Chittagong University; Mr. Narendra Pathak, Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Nepal; Dilli Shivakoti, Chief District Officer of Bhaktapur District, Asso. Prof. Geeta Pathak Sangroula, KSL; and Prof. Madhav Prasad Acharya, Professor In Charge of KSL delivered key remarks at the program. National and international dignitaries from different walks of life provided their honorary presence at the program. As a reception to the guests and international participants a cultural program was also organized by the Law Student Society of KSL.

Law students and rights activists from seven different countries participated in the Residential School viz. Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Bhutan and Malawi.

The working sessions started from 22nd September 2007 with presentations and interactions on the multiple thematic issues of economic, social and development rights and good governance. Each thematic presentation was followed by the interaction and workshop discussion.


Participants at Discussion

Country presentation on the topic 'Problems and Challenges Faced by Marginalized, Endangered Communities in South Asia and Surrounding Countries in the Context of Inclusivity in the System of Governance and Protection of Human Rights' was made by the participants. Nepal identified casteism, exclusion and poverty as major problems of the country lagged by the decade long political, economic and social conflict. Presenters illustrated that the marginalized community are socially, culturally, politically and economically deprived people who do not have access to justice, resources, opportunities and politics. Similarly, India identified education, poverty, population explosion, gender discrimination, corruption, reservation, red tapism, delay in the dispension of justice, unrealistic tax structure as most pressing issues relating to the ESDR. Political unrest and corruption, inflation and poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and social insecurity, lack of good governance, inequitable distribution of wealth, natural calamity, gender discrimination were identified as major problems of the country by the participants of Bangladesh. Presenting that ethnic minority, religious minority, vulnerable women and children, internally displaced people and refugees, slum dwellers and floating people, and landless farmers and unprivileged laborers are identified as marginalized community in Bangladesh, they mentioned that these communities have been continuously being victims of ethnic clearing, murder, kidnapping, rape, destruction of property and religious institutions, and physical intimation. Similarly, participant from Cambodia identified weak judiciary, land encroachment, and trafficking in person as three pressing problems the country is facing. The ethnic group like Kuy group and Phong are marginalized people in Cambodia who live in forest or isolation place from the community. In country presentation of China, education, poverty, less development, gender discrimination, forced labor, migrant worker, pollution, single party political system were identified as major problems faced by the country. In addition, Bhutanese participants highlighted on the problems of refugees and problems being faced by them.

The country presentations were followed by the workshop discussion to identify commonalities of problems and challenges of the South Asian Region and surrounding countries.  

Next session was followed by the talk program on ' Support of British Government in Conflict Transformation and Promoting Democratic Values in Context of Nepal'. Dr. Andrew Hall, Ambassador, British Embassy addressed the program that was concluded by the open floor discussion. Further sessions were conducted on the  Concept of Good Governance and linkage between good governance and socio economic and development rights. National and International Experts on the issues made a comprehensive and insightful presentation inviting thought- provoking discussion.  Under the broader theme of gender equality and reproductive rights, an interaction of participants on linkage between good governance and socio economic and development rights (laws, policies & directives) with representatives  of government, development partners, INGOs, and NGOs was organized.

Likewise, observation visit to National Judicial Academy and Police Academy was organized under the purview of the program. Field Research to explore situation of good governance and problems of rural, marginalized communities in VDCs of Nagarkot. Participants made presentations on the status and situation of economic and social rights in the country affected by conflict and poverty.

At the end, Elocution Competition with participants from South Asia, South East Asia and African Countries was organized on the topic 'Marginalized Community’s Socio Economic & Development Rights and their Participation in Political Process and Governance'. Ms Swechya Ghimire, LL.B 1st Year, KSL bagged the best performance trophy at the competition.  Closing ceremony was organized in presence of Finn Thilsted, Ambassador, Embassy of Denmark, Nepal as Chief Guest. Valediction was followed by the distribution of Diplomas for 15 participants adjudged pro active at the Residential School and awards. Ms. Nishika Sharma, LL.B 2nd Year bagged Academic Excellence award for her outstanding performance at the two weeks Residential School. Similarly, Mr. King Norman from Malawi was awarded with the Fellowship award at the program.


Members of 4th Winter Residential School

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Law Student Society of KSL and Its Activities

Law Student Society has been formed in the college with the initiatives of LL.B students. The society aims at working for the promotion of the values of justice, human rights and dignity, and to advocate for democracy. 

Since its establishment it has been working for the all round development of the KSL students and also for the students of other colleges, schools inside and outside the valley. It comprises of four committees namely Human Rights Enforcement Committee, Student Welfare Committee, Law Review Committee, Extra Co Curricular Activities Committee.

First General Assembly of the society was organised which officially adopted the name and objectives of the Society. Initially, the Society was named as Human Rights Law Students' Society. Programs of Action to be followed by the Society were identified at the Assembly. President of the Society was also appointed from LL.B. 4th year along with the Coordinators of the committees to pursue further activities. Till present, the Society, consists of 60 members.

In order to meet the objectives of the Society, Human Rights Enforcement Committee has formed Human Right Cells in many schools particularly in government schools in Nuwakot and Dadhikot VDCs. It is providing educational support like donating books to the schools, educating students about constituent assembly, human rights. It is preparing to provide human rights training to the officials of the cell in collaboration with national NGOs. This committee raised the fund of NRP 6046.00 for the flood victims and deposited in the Kantipur Flood Victims Relief Fund.

Likewise, the Society organized the Blood Donation program on 8th Oct 2007 in college premises where the students, staffs, teachers donated their blood.

 


 

 

Feature Article

 

 

 

 

Constitution must be Able to Guarantee Basic Liberties Uninfringeable in Any Circumstance

A society without basic liberties is nothing but a slaves’ society. But the whole chunk of human civilization has unfolded out of conscious struggle for freedoms, and all conditions in political society that thrashed basic liberties are defeated by incessant inspiration of civil society for greater and enriched freedoms. The scheme and design by any individual or institution are thus bound to be ultimately crumbled down; they are never sustainable. No society or nation can survive without a vibrant and freed body of civilians. As opposed to some pessimistic cries, Nepal’s future is bright and awesomely potential of emerging as a matured and cultured nation state provided that some formidable problems are properly addressed.

An in-depth and critical analysis of the past political affairs unfolds that the Nepalese society is passing through a bitter struggle between regressive and progressive forces, though the struggle is largely clandestine. This struggle has mainly centered on ‘ill motif’ of conventional feudal force that intends to continue being in power as antithesis to basic liberties. For the last three years, this struggle has largely surfaced due to massive growth of consciousness of the civil society to basic liberties. This is what an interesting development mounting in the political scenario of the Nepalese society; it is no longer feasible to rule the Nepalese society by a power-block, group or institution with the help of a clandestine power management system. Unlike during the Panchayati regime, in the post 1990 movement era every power block is exposed to the eyes of the Nepalese people. If one looks from this perspective, last five years were crucial in the history of the Nepalese politics in the sense that the clandestine power centered politics came to its zenith and started spilling over. The split of the CPN (UML) was a beginning of the exposure of the clandestine power center, which survives only with the strength of conspiracy and unlimited political gimmicks. The split of the Nepali Congress was growth to maturity, and the subsequent events are spill-over. The biggest failure in this unfolding drama on the part of the democratic political forces was that they could not smell of the foul they were being instigated to play.

The present upsurge of the people marks their genuine inspiration for consolidation of the basic liberties. But it does not mean that the threat or risk of it being crushed by the clandestine power centered political gimmick is over. Coming to its zenith of such gimmick does not mean that it has been powerless, or sustained its biting tooth have been broken. The center is as powerful as it used to be in the past. The only change in its dimension is that it has been overtly exposed at present, whereas it was fully covert till recent past. The gain or lose of the civil society to its mission of achieving basic liberties will thus depend on its clarity of political, economical and social agenda of development. Liberties of people do not stand in vacuum.   

If one analyzes the dynamics of Nepalese history of struggle for freedoms, one can obviously see that it has, as an imbibed character, marked exclusively by political priorities. Socio-economic needs and priorities for the development have consistently been left out. As a result, the economically and socially marginalized sections of the population could not enjoy opportunities for equity, and consequently the clandestine power center could play a plot against democratic forces. In such a state, the larger part of population is easily deluded by the regressive force as it survives on failures of others only. Regression is destructive and devoid of creativity. Obviously, its agenda of winning over the power is solely dependent on the failure of the progressive forces on their agenda. The present government, for instance, took over the power in the pretext of failure of the political parties offer a system of good governance. But it never had a creative agenda of good governance; to grab the governmental power was the only agenda.

Basic liberties are greater need of economically and socially marginalized groups, and of course any political struggle must make these issues as frontline agenda to defeat the clandestine power centered block. The present movement needs to review its position from this prospect. Nepal is currently facing danger of authoritarianism from both the left and right extremism. In this situation the defeat of one may unscrupulously assist the other in gaining power. This on what the American policy to Nepal has been becoming functional. In this situation, the enhancement of the functionality of the central democratic forces is the only right strategy for preserving the realm of basic liberties, and for this the central democratic forces must be able to draw the socially and economically marginalized sections to its fold. Priorities for the socio-economic freedoms and development should therefore be the focused agenda of the struggle for political basic liberties. In this context, the political parties fighting for the democracy should be conscious of their role to massive reforms in the governance system, and the agenda of the movement should be accordingly designed. The success of the ongoing movement for basic liberties is thus dependent on it capability of including socio-economic freedoms and development as priority agenda of the struggle. Its failure to do so may divert the larger part of the population towards leftist extremism, and eventually will provide a basis for continuity of the rights’ control over the State’ power.

In this context, the ongoing movement for democracy must be founded on a charter between the people and political parties. It cannot be a sole instrument of political parties gaining the power over the government with status quo in political dynamics. Restoration of liberal democracy is the agenda of the political parties, whereas the people’ agenda is beyond it; they want an inclusive democracy in terms of participation in political process as well as scoio-econmic development. The people’ movement can be enhanced and consolidated by acceptance by the political parties of the people’s agenda of inclusive democracy. This is where the external powers like India, USA, UK and China can play roles. Their policies and outlooks to present crisis of Nepal should be necessarily guided for the benefit of the general population. Creation or destruction of any polarization for vested interest should find a place, which may drag Nepal to a catastrophe. Especially, US government’s cautious support to the present movement may help to legitimize the brutal suppression of the people, and it may contribute to the upsurge of economically and socially deprived or disenfranchised population to the left extremism. It is necessary to build a faith and trust of the people on the capability of the democratic parties to rescue the country from crisis. This faith of people on democratic forces will isolate unpopular forces from people. As matter of fact, the popular movement to the inclusive democratic system is the only way out of the present crisis.

The present trend of suppression, however, and less visible concern of the international community towards what happening in Nepal are unusual. These trends show that the government is still confident of its capability of quelling the movement with the help of massive use of force. On the other hand, international community is skeptical to extend its genuine support to the democratic forces, and this may be due to ‘stereotyped’ belief that the fall down of the present government might add the strength to the Maoist. This doctrine may have been founded on a sweet logic but on ‘reality’. The Nepalese people are keen to restoration of democracy and have abundantly proved that their choice is no kind authoritarian regime, but the democratic government. The international community can constructively assist Nepal to rescue from the present crisis by extending its support to the democratic aspiration of the people and their capability of their representative parties. By ignoring political parties there can neither be the solution to the Maoist insurgency nor development of the country.

With the present political development in Nepal, one can say that the country has been come to a real cross of crisis. Successful management of the aspiration of the people scattered on every streets and corners of the country today will give a lasting transformation of the present crisis, and failure to an uncertainty of future. The failure of the present movement will throw the country a lasting bloodshed. The present trend of the government to oppress unarmed citizens on the streets compels one to think that it lacks a political vision address the crisis. There is a strong anti-democratic group in the government, which is persistently and adamantly trying to prevail over the people. The terror has been created among the people, everyday it is dragging more people in the streets. The mass is still peaceful on the streets, and has not poured on the inner city in Kathmandu for frenzy and destruction. However, everything naturally has limitation. The anger being generated by indiscriminate bullets and batons might trigger the frenzy, and may invite a catastrophe. It is therefore in nobody’s interest to wait and pass on the time without proper transformation of the crisis. The international community can play a crucial role, by refraining at lest from meddling things, if it does prefer to avoid active engagement in support of the democracy.

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Kathmandu School of Law          / Telephone : 977-01-634455/6634663, 2042268
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