Mohammad Sohidul Islam is a PhD candidate at Melbourne Law School. He holds a ‘Bachelor of Laws’ [LL.B (Honours)] and a ‘Master of Laws’ (LL.M) from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and a specialised master degree in ‘Human Rights Law and Policy’ from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia.
Islam joined the Bangladesh Judicial Service (Lower Judiciary) on 22 May 2008 as an ‘Assistant Judge’ and presided over the Civil Courts, Criminal Courts and Family Courts where he extensively adjudicated civil, criminal and family disputes. In his judicial capacity, he also settled a significant number of civil and family disputes through mediation mechanism. Prior to embarking on this PhD program, he worked as a ‘Senior Judicial Magistrate’ in the judicial magistracy of Chittagong, Bangladesh where he dealt with diverse criminal offences such as offences affecting human body, offenses against property, offenses relating to documents, trade and property mark and so on.
Previously Islam was a lecturer at Bangladesh University, and the University of Asia Pacific (UAP), Bangladesh where he taught Environmental Law, Public International Law, Property Law, and Constitutional Law. He was also an adjunct faculty at Premier University, Chittagong, Bangladesh where he taught Business Law. Given his academic and professional achievements together with his strong commitment to contributing to development progress in Bangladesh, in 2013 Islam was selected for an Australian Development Scholarship.
He researches across the field of water law in general, and groundwater law in particular with a focus on the compliance and enforcement issues. His doctoral thesis explores the deficiencies of the existing legal and institutional frameworks of Bangladesh in preventing the over-extraction of groundwater resources with a view to offering viable solutions to this crisis.
The Role of Law in Protecting Groundwater: Challenges and Opportunities for Global and State Action
Unsustainable groundwater abstraction is an acknowledged problem in Bangladesh. Current water laws, policies, and institutions are widely recognised to have failed in addressing this problem effectively and efficiently. Moreover, the relevant laws and policies are themselves defective and deficient in controlling the free-style extraction of this precious resource, and compliance is very weak. The institutions responsible for enforcing the legal regulation of groundwater extraction are also weak, fragmented and patchy. Against this backdrop, this project explores the deficiencies of the existing legal and institutional frameworks in preventing the over-extraction of groundwater resources with a view to offering viable solutions to this endemic crisis. In particular, the thesis considers whether judicial action could be one of the promising legal responses to this rampant problem, albeit not a permanent one. The project also seeks to understand what stakeholders, judges, policy-makers, experts and scholars think are effective legal and institutional mechanisms for ensuring sustainable abstraction of this resource in the long term. Recommendations for reform are then offered, inter alia, based on the experiences of the people interviewed.
- Water Law
- Environmental Law
- International Human Rights Law