Taslima Yasmin

Taslima Yasmin has conducted significant socio-legal researches mainly in the area of human rights with focus on issues such as gender based violence, labor safety, minority rights and child rights. She has published in national and international journals. She completed her LLB and LLM from the University of Dhaka and a consecutive LLM from the University College London (UCL) UK. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Brunel University, London. Since the early years of her career, she has been actively engaged with the research and advocacy of a number of human rights based NGOs in Bangladesh.

Designation: University of Dhaka
Institution: University of Dhaka
Paper: The ‘Unreliable’ Rape Victims and their Plight for Justice: Analysis of the recent Supreme Court Decisions of Bangladesh
Abstract: "In Bangladesh, discrimination based on the patriarchal notions, together with insufficient legal and policy focus on the issue of sexual violence, resulted in a less effective legal framework and a conservative judicial environment where a women complainant is received with utmost suspicion. Considering the reality that accessing the legal system and getting justice is an extremely intricate journey for a rape victim, the study attempts to evaluate how the existing laws and judicial practices cause hardship for victims of sexual violence. The paper first briefly highlights the key gaps in the laws dealing with different forms of sexual violence in Bangladesh. In an attempt to understand the recent judicial trends in dealing with rape victims, this paper then analyses the past twelve years’ reported decisions of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh on rape. It discusses some of the common myths and stereotypes that are associated with rape victims and rape prosecutions, which are reflected in the decisions and observations of the higher judiciary. It highlights how the current judicial approach that treats victims of sexual offences with utmost suspicion has made it more difficult to prove the allegations against the accused, resulting in significantly less number of convictions."