The twenty first century poses new opportunities as well as challenges to the South Asian nations. The challenges faced by the human society go far beyond national boundaries and they extend to governance, poverty, environmental degradation, infectious disease, and international, regional and national security. In South Asia, where the vast majority of people live under conditions of extreme poverty, the challenges on the one hand include poverty eradication by accelerating the present pace of development and on the other hand ensuring democratic and participatory governance where concepts of human rights and political liberty are fully realised. We live in an era of relentless and increasing globalization. South Asian nations recognize the value of regional cooperation for facing the challenges of the twenty first century. Since its inception, the South Asia Foundation (SAF) has also rightly recognized the importance of regional cooperation. The realization of its potential by South Asia, depends, not least, on the development of its human resources. To this end, South Asia needs institutions of excellence for imparting knowledge and skills necessary to confront the new challenges as well as for promoting interconnection between its people through exchange and collaboration. Exchange and collaboration in legal education, research and scholarship are essential both for an understanding of the common trends and traditions of the legal systems of the South Asian countries and for greater harmonization and unification of the laws of the region in future. Indeed, such harmonization and unification can contribute much towards the grander goal of South Asian cooperation. Furthermore, legal education, in the modern sense, means more than teaching the student what the law is. It also means sensitizing him or her to crucial societal issues and the ways in which the law can help address those issues.

Thus, time cannot be more ripe for the establishment of a South Asian institution that places South Asian common law and human rights at its centre. Accordingly, it is proposed that a South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (“SAILS”) be established in Bangladesh as a centre of excellence for research and education in South Asian law and human rights. It is intended that the proposed SAILS will be established as an independent legal entity registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Once established, the Institute will enter into an agreement with University of Asia Pacific (UAP) for purposes of conferral of degrees as well as for cooperation on other related matters. It is understood that UAP will be willing to enter into such an agreement with the proposed Institute, subject to appropriate institutional and financial arrangements.

Message from Chairperson

Dr. Kamal Hossain

Chairperson, SAILS

South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (SAILS) has since its inception been conceived of as an institution of excellence for promoting legal education, research and scholarship. The regional initiative was aimed to involve the intellectual and academic resources of the region to design teaching and research in various fields including human rights, labour, environment, energy, natural resources, trade, finance and investment. A comparative regional approach would be a distinctive feature in relation to different sectors, such as the corporate sector, energy, telecommunications and governance. It is expected that through such an approach students would obtain an understanding of the common strength and traditions and the possibility of greater harmonization and unification of laws in the South Asian region.

Message from Vice-Chairperson


Vice-Chairperson, SAILS

Sami was the chief coordinator of the first SAARC summit and was selected the deputy general secretary of the summit. He also worked at the Bangladesh embassy in Cairo and as the Charge-de-affairs in Paris. He also worked in the UNESCO as a residing representative.
Sami became the Bangladeshi High Commissioner to India in 1995 and remained there till 1999. During this time he played an important part in signing the Ganges Water Distribution Agreement and Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord. After that, he served as the foreign secretary till 2001. During the caretaker government of 2001, he became the chief foreign secretary. Besides he was a member of the International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations. He also led Bangladeshi correspondents in UN, NAM, OIC and other international conferences.