All posts by S M Masum Billah

S M Masum Billah

About S M Masum Billah

S M Masum Billah is currently a recipient of the VUW Doctoral Scholarship to pursue his PhD study at the School of Law, Victoria University of Wellington. In 2014, he was awarded the Bruce Kercher Scholarship to attend the 33rd Australia and New Zealand Legal History Studies Conference at the University of New England, Australia. On March 23-27, 2015, Mr. Billah presented a paper at the 16th World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC. His area of interests includes land law, literature, poverty, constitutional law, and politics. He regularly writes in Dhaka based dailies and blogs, and at present holds a teaching position at Law Department of Jagannath University, Dhaka. He can be reached at:

Bangladesh: MEDIA and the LAW

by  S M Masum Billah
Pinpointing Bangladesh on the Globe

Law and legal institutions are omnipresent in Bangladeshi society. So is the media, electronic media in particular. People are involved with the law like it or not. They often complain about legalism. They have developed a mind-set about the functioning of laws. Media plays a role in forming this mind-set. Accordingly, there is an uneasy relationship between law and the media. The law of libel and the social action litigations offer two glaring examples of this uneasy relationship. Legal scholars may write volumes on the legal aspects of the issue. However, to my mind, there is a motion factor in mounting up such a relationship. Let me explain how and why.

There was an age when law could have been traced from the king’s dictum or stone’s inscription. Afterwards, passing through the handwriting era, law entered into the printing age. Printing provided law a kind of continuity and stability in its functioning. [....]