Kamal Hossain

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Kamal Hossain
কামাল হোসেন
Hossain in 2013
Minister of Law
In office
12 January 1972 – March 1973
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh
In office
March 1973 – August 1975
President Mohammad Mohammadullah
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Muhammad Mansur Ali
Preceded by Abdus Samad Azad
Succeeded by Abu Sayeed Chowdhury
Personal details
Born (1937-04-20) 20 April 1937 (age 80)
Nationality Bangladeshi
Political party Gano Forum
Bangladesh Awami League (before 1990)
Spouse(s) Hameeda Hossain
Residence Dhaka
Alma mater University of Oxford
Occupation Politician, statesman and lawyer
Known for The principal author of the Constitution of Bangladesh

Kamal Hossain (born 20 April 1937) is a Bangladeshi jurist politician and freedom fighter.[1] After the independence of Bangladesh, he served as Minister of Law from 1972 to 1973 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1973 to 1975. He was also the Minister of Energy in 1974. Under his leadership, the Constitution of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Petroleum Act were enacted.


Hossain was awarded a Bachelor of Jurisprudence degree with honours from the University of Oxford in 1957 and a Bachelor of Civil Law from the same institution in 1958. In 1964, he was awarded a Doctorate in International Law. He was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn, London.

Political career[edit]

Hossain (middle) with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Gerald Ford at the White House lawn in 1974

Hossain accompanied Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in negotiations with Pakistani President General Yahya Khan and Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on the transfer of power to the National Assembly following the 1970 election.

Hossain was arrested during the Bangladesh Liberation War in April 1971 by the Pakistani government and kept in custody along with Sheikh Mujib in West Pakistan. He was released together with Mujib when both of them flew to London and then to independent Bangladesh.

After the independence of Bangladesh, Hossain served as the Minister of Law (1972–1973), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1973–1975) and Minister of Petroleum and Minerals (1974–1975). One of his earliest tasks as Minister of Law was the drafting of the Constitution of Bangladesh which was completed in 1972. Hossain is regarded as the father of the Bangladeshi constitution.

He was a member of the Awami League until the early 1990s, when he formed his own political party, Gano Forum (People's Forum),[2] following disputes with Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina.

Legal career[edit]

He is a leading jurist in Bangladesh and has conducted a number of landmark cases, published in various law journals in Bangladesh. In addition, he has appeared in several international arbitrations, both as a lawyer and an arbitrator, including acting as an arbitrator in the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.

Role in the international arena[edit]

Hossain is renowned worldwide as a jurist and enjoys a long-standing association with the United Nations. Between 1998 and 2003, he served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan. He is a current member of the UN Compensation Commission. He is also currently vice chairman of the International Law Association London, chairman of both the [3] BLAST and South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (SAILS), honorary fellow of Notre Dame University Bangladesh and the Institute of Mineral and Petroleum Law, University of Dundee and advisory council member for Transparency International. He has also acted as an observer in various elections around the world.


Hossain has a daughter, Sara Hossain. She is married to British journalist, David Bergman.[4]


  1. ^ "Law and Democracy with Dr Kamal Hossain". University of Cambridge. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  2. ^ "Two decades of Gono Forum". Probenews. 2012-02-04. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  3. ^ Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust
  4. ^ "Nurul Kabir to continue his defence on Dec 20". BDNews24. 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 

External links[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Abdus Samad Azad
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Abu Sayeed Chowdhury