Mst Fatima Kanij

Portrait photo of Mst Fatima Kanji

In her own words

This is Mst Kanij Fatima, Senior Assistant Judge, government of Bangladesh. I completed my Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Dhaka, which is the leading public university in Bangladesh. I obtained first class (second position) in LLB and first class in LLM. I finished my Master of International Law from University of Technology Sydney, under an AUSAID scholarship awarded by the Government of Australia. I am also a Chevening scholar, as awarded by the British Government.

I am a Senior Assistant Judge in Bangladesh and my main responsibility in this role is to adjudicate civil and criminal cases. I joined as a Judicial Magistrate on 22 May 2008 in the Bangladesh Judicial Service. I have also worked as a Judge of the Family Court and Tribunal. I was a part time lecturer and subject coordinator at the State University of Bangladesh and Sylhet International University, where I taught “Law of Transfer of Property” and “The Law of Contract”.

In 2016 I came to Melbourne with my two small children, to start my journey as a postgraduate candidate at La Trobe University. Sometimes it seems impossible to stay in a new place and in a new environment. However, my motivation to do something for my country encourages me to keep going. I appreciate my continuous family support, especially my husband’s support. My research project is on ‘Human trafficking: Evaluating the response of the Government of Bangladesh compared with international law’ under the LTUFFRS (La Trobe University Full Fee Research Scholarship) and LTUPRS (La Trobe University Postgraduate Research Scholarship) with an expected completion date in 2020. Recently, I have been working as an Academic Casual at La Trobe Law School, where I teach Business Law and Ethics. I have also worked as a data administrator for the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) Project for the School of Law. My life at La Trobe is amazing as it gives me a wide opportunity to gain confidence in my own abilities and equip me with valuable language, creative, analytical and research skills.

My research project will analyse the position of Bangladesh by addressing the following questions:

  • a) To what degree is Bangladeshi Law compliant with applicable international law regarding human and organ trafficking? and
  • b) Why are current government measures ineffective?

The judiciary is of paramount importance for the realization, promotion and protection of human rights and establishment of the rule of law. It is the responsibility of the judiciary to ensure victims’ rights by criminalizing traffickers. As a judge I am in a better position to know how human rights and the rule of law could be realised. The findings of my study will be used as a guideline for policy makers, government officials, NGOs and other officials who are working against human trafficking.