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Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971 and therefore shares with Pakistan the legislation promulgated prior to 1971, such as the 1890 Guardian and Wards Act and the Muslim Family Law Ordinance of 1961.  Since independence legal reform in Bangladesh has been influenced to a certain extent by Indian reforms and has not undergone Islamisation to the extent that Pakistani legislation has.  The Constitution is the supreme source of law, taking precedence over domestic and international law.

Article 2 of the Constitution, as amended in 1988, establishes Islam as the religion of the State.  The majority of the citizens of Bangladesh are Hanafi Muslims.  There are also significant communities of Christians and Hindus.

Available Information

•    reunite’s Summary Text for Bangladesh

Legal Texts

•    Constitution 1972

•    Guardians and Wards Act 1890

•    Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961

•    Muslim Marriages and Divorces Act 1974

•    Family Courts Ordinance1985

•    Special Marriages Act 1872

•    Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939


•    Convention on the Rights of the Child Report 2001.

•    Report, Fatwas Against Women in Bangladesh, Women Living Under Muslim Laws, 1996.

•    Summary of FCO Activities in Bangladesh


•    Family Law Summary (Emory)