Standardized recruitment of judges
Standardaization is perhaps the word that is, in present days, associated with 'mass production'. However, as judges in Bangladesh lower judiciary are recruited by following standardized tests, inherent personal contradictions and manners remain camouflaged and unchallenged in them. Can the test indeed identify the right person possessing a 'mind' of uninfluenced predispositions? Are such tests not forced impositions of homogeneity upon the 'mind' of the person being tested?
If so, how do we identify an unalloyed judicious 'mind' with such impositions in effect? The question would be better if it could be rephrased as: how do we inspire formation of a fact called 'mind' to be appointed as a judge? We must remember that the 'person' here is going to be judge, whose job is mainly not necessarily to execute but to determine, an overarching responsibility upon his mind.
Back to the initial statements: Can justice be 'mass produced'? If justice is a matter meant for 'mass production', does there remain any necessity of a 'mind' backed by a sovereign government? And, in consequence, why don't we invest our resources to install automation in the judiciary, instead of judges whose 'minds' either are not valued, or are endangered and therefore, before a sane mind, are not 'recognizable'? The apparent and indeed the dominant argument, however, is that there is indeed a need for the 'mind' to and while be(ing) a judge.
If so, the central questions stand as : is a judicious mind really a necessity to be appointed as a judge in Bangladesh? What forms a judicious mind? We need to understand that nothing is 'judicial' unless it is 'judicious'and its opposite reading is inherently a third world phenomenon.
Further pursuance of the point indicated earlier: how do we identify such a mind? By devising syllabi behind closed doors in defiance of all the progress of arts and sciences? How can we evolve as a truly civilized legal system when, to be a judge in the lower judiciary, sustaining injuries caused by violence upon basic human intelligence is unavoidable?
Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (BJSC) is the body authorized by the rules to "identify individuals for appointments at the entry level of Bangladesh Judicial Service". This body seems overwhelmingly sure of what it is doing. The monolithic syllabus under which it conducts standardized recruitment examinations can be divided broadly into Bengali, English, Bangladesh and International, General Mathematics and Everyday Science andthe Laws.
This implies, if somebody is versed rudimentarily in the earlier four of these rubrics and he has, under desperate compulsion as the threat of potential joblessness clouds his horizon, had his head crammed with thousands of sectionswhich mostly are the same, that has formed an identifiable judicious 'mind,' qualified enough to 'determine' causes.What we do not understand here is that the individual being tested is a lost one.
What remains is not his 'mind', rather his 'residuary self crammed with indigestible sections' that constant blows by such blunt memorizing attempts to his intelligence spare. Desperation compromises his conscience, and therefore, he fears, even his own basic human mind. He forgets even to have a choice of the matters being thrust upon him in the name of testing him for his growth is being stunted.
It is understandable, certain arbitrariness from the tributaries of sovereign power, be it a service commission or anything of that kind, can therefore be exercised upon such an individual for he does not know what he stands for, in his mind's absence. He is actively inspired 'to not know'. His 'not knowing' makes him spectacularly replaceable, thwarting convergence of potential opinions deemed untoward, and the arbitrariness can continue to have its way. In the form of thrusting in sterilesections or not.
What lets me say that such tendencies towards 'cramming in' of sections to be appointed and working as a judge, at best, in fact serves the argument for automation of the judiciary and not the 'mind'? The sections that are 'crammed in' themselves are not thought provoking and do not form the mind and their intents can not be understood without studying their jurisprudential, and not just the jurisprudential, bases. The universities are failing to teach anything beyond the 'arid sections' and 'mass produced judgments' as they are being robbed of the power of 'thrusting in anything more' upon students by the humble and brutalizing BJSC syllabus prevailing.
Also, the universities wouldn't be able to convince the students of anything when such methods of appointment are actually in effect. There is nothing inherent in sections beyond its theoretical understanding and such an attempt is bound to draw one closer to the classical legal texts. Nothing beyond such texts can in fact train and form anything that can be termed 'mind'. Classical legal texts do not, however, mean nineteenth century laws with dubious purposes. Bureaucratic adventures of 19th and 21st centuries that taste every section of the laws before being passed can not form a mind either as they understandably lack sincere thoughts.
Identifying and selecting anybody to determine causes not substantially versed in such texts risks investing resources and labor in superficialities. Moreover, if such an exercise since can verifiably work devoid of the 'mind', the government must seriously consider elimination of humans from the position of judges to save time, money and resources. Efficiency, work and mass production without the 'mind' since is the point, there is no sincere reason for the argument that humans should continue to matter as judges.
Sections and laws, whether procedural or substantive, which are in effect, can readily be looked into in court if needed and their rote memorization constantly assaults any 'mind'that is capable of thought, the very foundation of judiciary. It is substantially alarming to see, that a person's terrified,helpless and backbreaking struggle for 'rote memorization' is too surely being termed as his 'general proficiency' in the laws, something a disposable phone memory could do with much ease.
What is a judge's proficiency in the laws? His capabilities of rote memorizing or his human ability to interpret, analyze and examine the laws? From certain perspectives, present system of appointments, is self-immolating. If the mind however, has consequences, it might be understandable why the commission does not plumb the depths of legal theories beyond certain incongruent and shallow quotes.Just to salve it's conscience? The concern is, such an understanding frustrates the fundamental purpose of the observations discussed here.
The syllabus and methods which are currently being followed by the commision, if continued without much evolution oriented introspection, will only cause further wastage human potential.
The author is an LL.M student
at University of Dhaka and he can be: reached at email@example.com