HISTORY


The idea for a national organization that could utilize lawyers around the country to provide pro bono services was raised at a national conference of lawyers held by the Bangladesh Bar Council in 1992.  BLAST was established in 1993 as a free legal services organisation with a Board of Trustees comprising eminent jurists, lawyers, and former judges of the Bangladesh Supreme Court.  After beginning operations at five offices in 1994, BLAST grew rapidly and now has nineteen unit offices in addition to the head office in Dhaka.  BLAST operates at the frontlines of the legal system, from the magistrate courts right up to the Supreme Court. It is the only legal services group to provide advice and assistance in criminal, family, civil, land and constitutional law matters. When founded, BLAST focused on providing legal aid, but it soon broadened its mandate to include alternative dispute resolution, public interest litigation, and legislative advocacy, providing a comprehensive approach to justice for marginalized and vulnerable persons.  BLAST has undertaken significant public interest litigation on criminal justice, economic and social rights and equality issues. BLAST’s most recent work includes litigation regarding extrajudicial killing, women's rights, Adivasi rights, and rights of persons with disabilities.


Legal Status:

BLAST is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee incorporated on 29.05.1993 under the Companies Act, and registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (CTO 311 (23)/93), and also separately registered with the NGO Affairs Bureau (786) on 19.12.1993 under the Foreign Donations (Registration and Control) Ordinance 1978, with its registration now renewed upto 2028.

 

BLAST, YMCA Development Center, 1/1 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
BLAST would like to thank Sara Hossain, Jahangir Alam, Arafat Hosen Khan, Amanda Sen, Rokeya Chowdhury & Kazi Ataul-al Osman for content development
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