The Fractured Scales: The Search for a uniform Personal Code.
  Author/Editor: Faustina Pereira.
Publisher: The University Press Limited.
Year of Publish: 2002
Binding: Hardcover
Produce Code: 9000907
ISBN: 984-05-1628-0
Price: BDT 465.00, USD 45.00

About the book

This work surfaces deep-rooted anomalies in the religious-personal legal systems of South Asia. It looks particularly at Bangladesh, where much of the laws governing the personal sphere are incompatible with the socio-legal ethos of the state and are in violation of its Constitution and international human rights instruments which the state is pledged to uphold. In the case of South Asia in general and of Bangladesh in particular, it considers the issue of gender equality in the context of a struggle between the forces of religious extremism and secular liberalism. This struggle permeates every aspect of public and private space. Whereas in the post-independent subcontinent, important economic and social events have increased women's mobility between the spheres, the overall notion of womanhood has not changed. Women are still seen in primarily moral and residual terms. This notion plays out in power relations in the family, access to and enjoyment of land, and competence in the marketplace. The book exposes the serious need for greater consolidation of personal laws and uniformity in their application, for bringing them in closer conformity to principles of equity and human rights, and for more responsive participation of the state in the regulation of the personal sphere. One of the ways towards such consistent regulation is suggested by way of a code of uniform personal laws, which would provide a forum of choice for litigants who suffer because of disparate personal laws. The choice envisaged herein is of empowerment rather than compromise, once certain core capabilities are ensured.

Faustina Pereira is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She is a Member and Deputy Director of Research and Advocacy of Ain-o-Salish Kendro (ASK), a leading legal aid and human rights organization in Bangladesh. She is also an associate in the Chambers of Dr. Kamal Hossain and Associates. At present she is the Human Rights Fellow at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). As a lawyer, human rights activist and feminist she has been involved in major national and international advocacy campaigns.