Justiciability of the basic necessity of housing: litigation of forced slum evictions in Bangladesh

S. M. Atia Naznin

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State-led forced slum evictions remain a constant challenge in Bangladesh. The rights of the squatters, either evicted or under threat of eviction, need to be protected. Under the Constitution of Bangladesh, the provision of housing exists not as a right but rather as a non-justiciable basic necessity. This imposes only a weak obligation on the state to resolve housing issues. Because the Constitution is the fundamental instrument that authorises the roles of state bodies, this limits judicial capacity to adjudicate any alleged eviction. This article, however, argues that the Bangladesh Supreme Court has overcome the justiciability bar on the basic necessity of housing through its liberal and rights-sensitive approach. This article therefore discusses the theoretical understanding of justiciability and the courts’ adjudicative authority. It then examines the efforts of several regional and national courts to enforce forced evictions by devising certain standards of adjudication. The progressive attitude of the Bangladesh Supreme Court is demonstrated in relevant judicial decisions on forced slum evictions. Finally, the article discusses the catalysts that influence the court to take the approach it does.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Journal of Asian Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Constitutional law
  • Socio-economic rights
  • Right to housing
  • Forced evictions
  • Forced slum evictions


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