Introduction

Traditionally non Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions thought that trusts2 were only relevant in the Common

Law world3. However, the ever increasing number of cases, statutes and textbooks reveal this to

1 Adam Doyle is Principal Lecturer in Law, BPP University. Matthew Carn is Lecturer in Law, BPP University. This
article is developed from a lecture given at King’s College London in March 2015.
2 For the benefit of non-Common lawyers, the trust mechanism has legal title in the hands of the trustee. Legal title gives the trustee the ability to use the property as required, but this power is constrained through mandatory trustee duties set out in the trust instrument, statute and case law. This restriction of power upon the trustee enables the beneficiary to have rights in equity. These rights fall into two categories. First, they ensure that the trustee fulfils their duties. Secondly, they include the ability for the beneficiary to have an ultimate right to absolute ownership in the trust property.
3See e.g. Pierre Lepaulle, ‘Traité théorique et pratique des trusts en droit interne, en droit fiscal et en droit international’ (Paris, 1932), p.113: “Thus from settlement of the greatest of wars down to the simplest inheritance on death, from the most audacious Wall Street scheme down to the protection of grandchildren, the trust can see marching before it the motley procession of the whole of human endeavour: dreams of peace, commercial
be both anachronistic and inaccurate1. The flexibility of the trust mechanism and the increasing use of trusts in commercial scenarios2 inevitably led to interest in the trust concept to a wider audience. Upon a closer look at trusts law, it would seem apparent that the trust might not be so different from concepts already in existence in non-Common Law countries. This interest and similarities has led to an increasing desire for these jurisdictions to either state that a domestic concept is essentially the same as a trust,or accept the trust as a concept into their legal systems. The aim of this article therefore is to consider the extent to which it is possible for non-Common Law jurisdictions to recognise the trust concept in their law and for their concepts to be recognised as trusts3. The conclusion is that it is possible to create an ‘International Trust’ recogn ised in multiple jurisdictions. However, this will require willingness on the part of the foreign jurisdiction
to fully accept the concepts that make the trust mechanism so useful. imperialism, attempts to strangle competition or to reach paradise, hatred or philanthropy, love of one’s family or the desire to strip it of everything after one’s death, all those in the procession being dressed either in robes or in rags, and either crowned in a halo or walking with a grin. The trust is the guardian angel of the Anglo -Saxon, accompanying him everywhere, impassively, from the cradle to the grave.”

1In the last 15 years a number of textbooks specialising in International Trusts law have been written. See e.g. Hayton (Ed.), Extending the Boundaries of Trusts and Similar Ring Fenced Funds (Kluwer, 2002); Panico, International Trust Laws (Oxford University Press, 2010); Hayton (Ed.), The International Trust (3rd Ed) (Jordans, 2011). These texts contain a large number of trusts statutory developments. As an example of trust law cases spanning both common law and civil law jurisdictions, see e.g. the UK Supreme Court judgment in FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital Partners LLC [2014] UKSC 45.
2 This increasing use of trusts for commercial purposes led Lord Browne-Wilkinson to comment inTarget Holdings
Limited v Redferns (a firm) [1996] AC 421 at 432:“in my judgment it is in any event wrong to lift wholesale the detailed rules developed in the context of traditional trusts and then seek to apply them to trusts of quite a different kind. In the modern world the trust has become a valuable device in commercial and financial dealings”. However, the idea of separate rules as a basis for finding trustee liability has not been followed and other parts of Lord Browne – Wilkinson’s judgment have been doubted in the Supreme Court judgment of AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors [2014] UKSC 58 and by academic commentary such as Carn, ‘Clarifying the law for breach of commercial trusts: AIB Group (UK) plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors’, Tru L I 2014 28(4) 226-236. For this reason it is submitted that separate trust law principles applying to specific types of trust only exists to the limited extent where statute has specifically modified the general rules. See e.g. the Pensions Acts 1993, 2004 and 2014, and the Charities Acts
2006 and 2011.
3 Article 11 of the 1985 Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition states that signatories to the Convention must recognise trusts that meet the requirements set out in Chapter II of the Convention. However, whilst Chapter II gives guidance on a settlor being able to select the place of administration of the trust and place of the trustee, the nature of trusteeship and the precise extent of the duties of the trustee are vague. Furthermore, there is no mention of beneficiaries and what rights they can obtain under a trust. See also fn.8 infra.

When considering issues of recognition of a concept in a foreign legal system it must be borne in mind that law is a social construct, very much a product of the society and the history of the state in which it operates1. Notions of ownership and obligation differ between states. Distinct families of legal systems exist in different parts of the world. There is the potential, even within the same legal family, for significant divergence in rules and remedies2. Therefore when considering the possibility of an ‘International Trust’ three main questions arise: 1) whether trusts can be fitted into civil law notions of contract; 2) whether trusts can be categorised as legal persons; and 3) whether concepts in other legal systems, such as Islamic law, can be seen as sufficiently similar to be recognised as trusts in England and Wales3.
Civil Law: Trusts as Contracts?
To a non-lawyer it can come as a surprise to know that there is divergence in opinion about how property is owned. This distinction can be seen when, for example, comparing Common Law and civil law systems. The Common Law sees ownership as a claim to title. Therefore, as traditionally understood, Common Law ownership of assets through an estate is asserting a comparatively
superior right to the property compared to another party with, in theory at least, the ultimate right

1 See e.g. Wendell Holmes, The Common Law (Boston, 1881), Lecture 1: “The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience”. The impact of what has happened in the history of a society creates norms that impact upon the legal structure of that society. For example, quaere whether the law of trusts would even exist were it not for the restriction on creation of writs in the Provisions of Oxford 1258 that ultimately led to the Court of Chancery, as well as the Statute of Uses Act 1535 that led to the rise of the trust.
2 An example in Common Law systems for trusts law is the question of the extent to which purpose trusts can be
recognised. In England and Wales, pure purpose trusts can only be recognised in the limited exceptions stipulated by In Re Endacott [1959] EWCA Civ 5 together with a valid perpetuity period under section 18 Perpetuities Act 2009. However, other jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands have specific trust schemes that can be for private purposes and require no perpetuity period. For further detail see Doyle and Carn, Hayton (Ed.) The International Trust (3rd Ed) (Jordans, 2011), Ch 5, Purpose Trusts.
3 Under the Recognition of Trusts Act 1987, which brought the 1985 Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to
Trusts and on their Recognition a Trust into English law, foreign trusts have to be recognised unless they are manifestly incompatible with public policy under Article 18. See also fn.5 supra.
to property being held by the Crown1. This notion of competing claims allows the concept of splitting different rights in the same piece of property between multiple parties to exist2. Thus the nature of the competing and interlinking property rights3 between trustee and beneficiary fits easily intoproperty ownership under Common Law. This method of ownership also allows for legal title in a piece of property to be kept separate from other assets a person owns. This flexibility allows trust property to be ring-fenced away from a trustee’s personal assets and thus protect it in the event of the trustee becoming bankrupt.
In comparison,the civil law notion of ownership, much shaped by the impact of the First French Empire under Napoleon I, is more absolute in nature4. Civil law systems use the concept of patrimony5 to define the proprietary rights of an individual. Patrimony is the entirety of a person’s property. As a general rule a person can only have one patrimony6, which extends to property a
person may acquire in the future as well as present assets7.

1Parker v British Airways Board [1982] 1 QB 1004. This also explains why, when there is nobody with a claim to property, it will go bona vacantia to the Crown. In the context of trusts law, see e.g. Hanchett-Stamford v AG [2008] EWHC 330 (Ch).
2 This also allows for legal title to be co-owned by multiple parties. A discussion of co-ownership of legal title is beyond the remit of this article but the two methods in which legal title can be co-owned in England and Wales are either through a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common.
3 See fn. 1 supra.
4 For example, Article 544 of the French code civil states ownership as being “La propriété est le droit de jouir et disposer des choses de la manière la plus absolue, pourvu qu’on n’en fasse pas un usage prohibé par les lois ou par les règlement”(“Property is the right to use and control things in the most absolute manner provided this use and control are not prohibited by the law”).

5See e.g.Friedrich Carl von Savigny, System of the Modern Roman Law, (William Holloway trans., Hyperion Press,
1979) (1867), 275-276.
6See e.g. Aubry et Rau, Droit civil français,(5th Ed, 1917), §§ 573-583.
7 This should be compared to Common Law ownership, where the issue of who has the superior claim to property is only considered from the moment the competing claim has said to arise. Claim to Common Law ownership can thus be seen as more akin to a ‘snapshot’ of what rights a party has at the moment of breach, and whether those rights still exist at the moment of judgment. See e.g. the lowest intermediate balance rule for tracing in James Roscoe (Bolton) Ltd v Winder [1915] 1 Ch 62 at 68-69: “You must, for the purpose of tracing, which was the process adopted in In re Hallett’s Estate, put your finger on some definite fund which either remains in its original state or can be found in another shape.”

This more absolute notion of ownership does not allow title to be split between parties. Whilstthere can be burdens placed upon ownership, such as usufruct1, these are generally seen as creating personal rights2. Admittedly there are some proprietary exceptions to this idea of absolute ownership, the so-called numerus clausus3. However, these exceptions are fiercely restricted to scenarios which are deemed by civil law systems to be absolutely necessary4. Such an absolute nature of ownership means the idea of split property rights and duties that are required for the trust mechanism to function do not fit within the traditional civil law rules.

Meanwhile, whilst property rights are more restrictive, the civil law notion of contract law is much broader5. There is no need for consideration in a contract, so there can be contracts for gifts of property6. Rights for third parties to contracts were also traditionally more sophisticated than in

1 A neutral definition of usufruct is a limited use splitting of rights in property between usus, the right to enjoy a thing directly without altering it, and fructus, the right to derive profit from a thing. An example can be land used for farming, where the usus will be enjoyment of the land and the fructus will be the ability to take the profit from selling crops grown on the land.
2See e.g. Article 578 French code civil: “L’usufruit est le droit de jouir des choses dont un autre a la propriété, comme le propriétaire lui-même, mais à la charge d’en conserver la substance” (“Usufruct is the right of enjoying things of which the property is in another, in the same manner as the proprietor himself, but on condition of pr eserving them substantially”). The lack of ability to change the quality of the property itself and duty to maintain the property reveals something less than a property right as the property cannot be freely used or reduced in value. Whilst at a first glance it appears similar an equitable life interest under a trust, the fundamental difference is that a life tenant and remainderman have the ability to collapse the trust by use of Saunders v Vautier(1841) 4 Beav 115 rights and take the property as absolute owners. This is not possible under a usufruct.

3In comparison English law is more relaxed. In National Provincial Bank Ltd v Ainsworth [1965] AC 1175, Lord Wilberforce defined the requirements for a proprietary right in rather general terms at 1247: ‘Before a right or an interest can be admitted into the category of property, or of a right affecting property, it must be definable, identifiable by third parties, capable in its nature of assumption by third parties, and have some degree of permanence or stability’. New categories of proprietary rights are thus, at least theoretically, easier to add into English law than into civil law systems.
4See e.g. B. Akkermans, The Principle of Numerus Clausus in European Property Law, Antwerpen/Oxford/Portland:
Intersentia, 2008.
5 See e.g. B Nicholas, The French Law of Contract,(Oxford University Press, 1992).
6Articles 1108to 1133 of the French code civil cover the rules for formation of a contract. At
Article 1108 the following essential requirements are required for a valid contract: “Quatre
conditions sont essentielles pour la validité d’une convention:Le consentement de la partie qui s’oblige; Sa capacité de contracter;Un objet certain qui forme la matière de l’engagement;Une cause licite dans l’obligation.” (“Four conditions are essential to the validity of a contract: “The

English law. When considering these concept in the context of trusts law, some academics have noted that trust law in the beginning was about personal rights1 rather than proprietary rights. Others, developing this idea, have argued the origin of trusts granting personal rights to beneficiaries is an indicator that the origins of a trust came from Roman Law principles2, akin to how the rules for modern civil law jurisdictions have developed. If both of these points are accepted, then there is a possible argument that it is acceptable to allow a version of a trust which is based purely upon civil law notions of contract law. Under such an idea the settlor contracts with a fiduciary to gratuitously transfer property to the fiduciary with third party rights being given to a class of people who will be the beneficiaries.

At a first glance this alternative is convincing. Some states like Luxembourg, developing law from the Roman concept of fiducia3, created such an arrangement, which they called the fiducie4. However, there are two fundamental problems with just transforming trusts into contracts. First, the rights under contract law are not proprietary in nature5. Even when a contract is specifically enforceable, the idea is not to give rights in the property to the claimant but instead to force a party
to do what they have contracted to do; the focus is on the performance by the party rather than the

consent of the party who binds himself; His capacity to contract; A defined object which forms the subject matter of the obligation; A licit cause in the obligation”).
1 See e.g. Matthews, From Obligation to Property and Back Again?, Hayton (Ed), Extending the Boundaries of Trusts
and Similar Ring Fenced Funds (Kluwer, 2002).
2 See e.g. Johnstone, Roman Law of Trusts, (Oxford University Press, 1988); M Lupoi, Trusts: A Comparative Study,
(CUP, 2000).
3 This was used by Roman citizens as a type of pact or agreement, used commonly as security for repayment of a loan. It involved the entrusted person as a full owner of property, but having the obligation in described circumstances to restore the property to the transferor. Contrast this with the rights under a Quistclose trust as described by Lord Millett in Twinsectra v Yardley [2002] UKHL 12.
4 Law of 27 July 2003.
5 Whilst a constructive trust can exist in English law for the transfer of equitable title to specifically enforceable property, as shown in Neville v Wilson [1997] Ch 144 and Jerome v Kelly [2004] UKHL 25, it is submitted that the focus on both of these cases was to use the constructive trust to avoid statutory requirements under section 53(1)(c) Law of Property Act 1925 and sections 47 and 58 Capital Gains Tax Act 1979 respectively. It is further submitted that the principles from these cases cannot apply in a jurisdiction that has refused to accept simultaneous legal and equitable title to a piece of property and as such the rights of third parties under a fiduciecan only be personal in nature. Note also the Abstaktionsprinzip in German Civil Law, which separates the duty for performance under an agreement from ownership rights in property.

transfer of the subject matter of the contract. Under this model the beneficiaries thus only have rights to make the fiduciary do what he has promised to do with the settlor. Admittedly there is the counter-argument that this is not problematic under English law. In Re Denley’s Will Trusts1 a trust was found where the beneficiaries did not have a right to the property beyond using it as a sports ground for 21 years. However, it must also be notedRe Denley’s typetrusts are not universally supported as good trust law2. Secondly, if a trust is transformed into a contract thenthe assets received by the fiduciary are not distinct from the fiduciary’s personal assets. If the fiduciary were to go bankrupt the beneficiaries would rank as unsecured creditors3, just like any other ordinary party to a contract.

A more sophisticated response as a consequence of these problems came from the French equivalent of fiducie that was created in 20074. Under this modified model, the property was kept separate, in what is described as a patrimoine affectée, from the person entrusted to act having a deposit (or possession) of segregated assets. Furthermore, as the patrimoine affectée is considered a fund, the original assets can be replaced with new assets over time. This would appear to be a step towards asset protecting the rights of the beneficiaries in a manner similar to that under a trust. Further suggestion of the beneficiaries having more rights is the proscribing of fiducie for abstract purposes, thus potentially overcoming any beneficiary principles issues. However, this alone is insufficient to make a fiducie a trust. As Waters notes5:

“segregation in itself does not confer in rem or in personam rights on the fiduciary, on the beneficiary, or on any third party creditor.”

1 [1968] 3 WLR 457.
2Indeed the only case to have followed Re Denley’s is Grender v Dresden[2009] EWHC 214. However, this case can be argued as an example of where the courts have bent strict trust principles to enable a quasi-charitable trust to
succeed when it would otherwise fail. Other examples where this has occurred include McPhail v Doulton [1971] AC
424 and T Choithram International SA v Pagarani [2001] 2 All ER 492.
3 See e.g. comments by B Vischer, the Fiduciary in Continental Europe, Trusts and Trustees, (1999) 5 (7): 13.
4loi de fevrier 19, 2007.
5 Waters, D, Hayton (Ed.), The International Trust (3rd Ed) (Jordans, 2011), 17.69.

It is therefore doubtful whether the French fiducieis truly a ring-fenced fund in the nature of a trust as traditionally understood solely on the basis of a party under a contract receiving separated assets alone, without any corresponding property rights being given to another person. Indeed, it is submitted that the fundamental aspect of the trust as traditionally understood is the rights-duty relationship between trustee and beneficiary once the settlor has created the trust. On this basis,fiducie can never be recognised as trusts when, in all forms of fiducie, the relationship is not ultimately between settlor and beneficiary, but settlor and fiduciary instead.

A second issue the French fiducie attempted to resolve was the fact that, if these agreements between settlor and fiduciary are personal, the fiducie must come to an end if the fiduciary dies or becomes mentally incapacitated. French jurisprudence suggests that the role of fiduciary is an office rather than a personal obligation. The courts could, as Matthews suggests1, theoretically replace a wrongdoing fiduciary with another person. This does not appear to be set in stone however and, as noted above, beneficiaries to a fiducie certainly donot have any Saunders v Vautier2rights over fiducie assets.

Upon considering these two issues:of the need for the relationship to be between trustee and beneficiary,and for the beneficiary to have proprietary rights in the trust property, all forms of fiducie pose further problems. To create a fiducie you will need a separate trustee from the settlor as you cannot contract with yourself in any legal jurisdiction. Self-declarations of trust are thus impossible to replicate with a fiducie. Furthermore,if the existence of the fiducie depends upon there being an agreement between the settlor and fiduciary for the fiducie to come into existence,
the fiducie can fail if the fiduciary refuses to take on the role. With a trust in comparison, the trust

1 Paul Matthews, The French Fiducie: And Now for Something Completely Different,(2007) 21 Tru L I 17.
2 (1841) 4 Beav 115.

will not fail for want of a trustee even if the trustee disclaims the role1. Fundamentally, the trust concept therefore does not depend upon a bilateral agreement but instead is created unilaterally by the settlor.

Further differences can also be found upon comparing the standard of conduct expected for a fiducie fiduciary to that of fiduciary duties for trustees. Traditionally, the civil law notion of fiduciary was somebody in whom confidence was placed and who could be relied upon, more akin to a duty of goodfaith2. The substantial body of rules governing how fiduciaries act in the common law world simply donot apply, with the result that the standard of conduct expected is lower in civil law3.

The restrictions offiducie not being able to grant proprietary rights to beneficiaries, as well as the lesser standards of performance expected in fiducie compared to Common Law fiduciary

1 If the court cannot find a willing trustee then the Public Trustee has the ability to control a trust under section 2 of the Public Trustee Act 1906.
2See e.g. §242 of the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, which codifies the requirement of performance in good faith in German Civil Law.§242 specifically requires parties to take customary practice into consideration when performing in good faith. Whilst this concept can be seen as a method of protecting against opportunism by a stronger party, the remedy is personal in nature and only applies to circumstances that can be foreseeable if adequate precautions are taken. In comparison, cases such as Boardman v Phipps [1967] 2 AC 46 show that there appears to be no remoteness test for fiduciaries under English law, although there is admittedly a remoteness test to limit the duration for which fiduciary profits are disgorged in Australian law in Warman International v Dwyer [1995] HCA 18. Furthermore, following FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital Partners LLC [2014] UKSC 45 at [46], any profit made in breach of fiduciary duty is always subject to theproprietary remedy of a constructive trust in favour of the principal.The notion of good faith by the fiduciary being a defence has also been explicitly rejected in Regal (Hastings) Ltd v Gulliver [1967] 2 AC 134 at 144–5.
3In additional to authorities cited at fn. 35supra, the strict prophylactic nature of fiduciary duties under English law can also be seen in the very low causation test required to connect the fiduciary breach to the profit made. Whilst Arden LJ in Murad v Al-Saraj held at [62] that “no fiduciary is liable for all the profits [she] ever made from any source”, the test is stated in CMS Dolphin v Simonet [2001] EWHC Ch 415 as being merely that the breach is one cause of the gain. The more stringent ‘but for’ test was explicitly rejected for fiduciary breach in Industrial Development Consultants Ltd v Cooley [1972] 1 WLR 443, where Roskill J held at 453“the question whether or not the benefit would have been obtained but for the breach of trust has always been treated as irrelevant.” See also Mitchell, Causation, Remoteness and Fiduciary Gains, (2006) 17 KCLJ 325 at 332.

duties,lead to afiducie concept that is less flexible than the trust. The restrictions make itunclear whether the discretionary trust, where the rights of some beneficiaries are defeasible by the fiduciary electing to transfer property to only some members of the class, can ever be suitably replicated by a fiducie in which the third party contractual rights of beneficiaries would be by necessity fixed by the terms of the contract. Furthermore, if the discretionary trust is unlikely to fit into the fiducie model, then the concept of adding a personal power, where parties who have no automatic rights to even be considered to receive property, but if exercised would defeat rights of discretionary beneficiaries, would certainly be impossible to use in a fiducie.

These numerous issues reveal the fiducie is not a suitable substitute for a trust, no matter how sophisticated the contract rules are in the jurisdiction. The lack of direct rather than third party relationship between fiduciary and beneficiary, coupled with a lack of proprietary rights for the beneficiary and lesser standard of conduct expected of the fiduciary, ultimately create a legal device that is neither as stringent nor as flexible. Rather greater success has been shown by civil law jurisdictions that have attempted to accept the trust as a new type of property-holding regime. An example that is frequently highlighted is the use of trusts in Italy, which has adopted the 1985
Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition. However the Italian interpretation of trusts, the trust interno, is itself subject to criticism. In an attempt to try and fit the trust concept into every possible jurisdiction, the Hague Convention definition of a trust in
Article 2 of the Convention is vague1, to the extent that it would appear to allow for trusts for

1Article 2 of the Hague Trusts Convention defines a trust as follows: “For the purposes of this Convention, the term “trust” refers to the legal relationships created – inter vivos or on death – by a person, the settlor, when assets have been placed under the control of a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary or for a specified purpose. A trust has the following characteristics – a) the assets constitute a separate fund and are not a part of the trustee’s own estate; b) title to the trust assets stands in the name of the trustee or in the name of another person on behalf of the trustee; c) the trustee has the power and the duty, in respect of which he is accountable, to manage, employ or dispose of the assets in accordance with the terms of the trust and the special duties imposed upon him by law. The reservation by the settlor of certain rights and powers, and the fact that the trustee may himself have rights as a beneficiary, are not necessarily inconsistent with the

abstract purposes.To ensure that this vague definition did not offend the rules of an individual jurisdiction, Article 18 allows for a signatory to not recognise a trust that is ‘manifestly incompatible with public policy’. As many Italian trusts appear to be for abstract purposes, without even an enforcer as required for offshore trusts such as Cayman STAR1, it is likely that any Italian trusts without beneficiaries and perpetuity periods are likely to encounter difficulties in recognition by the English courts2.

It is submitted that the only civil jurisdictions that have a concept that would be recognised are those that have completely assimilated the trust concept, such as Monaco3. Many states have refused to do thisdue to a fear that trusts with property rights could be used to defeat forced heirship rules that exist in their legal systems4. Many civil law states are therefore at a difficult impasse, where the only way to bring the trust law concept properly into a civil law jurisdiction is to use statute to create a new exception to absolute ownership, but with the difficulty of states not wanting to have to make significant changes to their tax laws if the concept is incorporated into a state’s legal system. As it currently stands however, attempts to fudge the issue by modifying existing principles in civil law jurisdictions have not created a legal conceptsufficiently similar that can properly be recognised as a trust.

Civil Law: Trusts as a Legal Person?

Another issue is the possibility of the English trust being given its own legal personality, something

akin to the modern legally personified corporation. One way that this may be effected is by

existence of a trust.”For further discussion see e.g. Lupoi, The Shapeless Trust, Trusts and
Trustees, (1995) 1 (3): 15-18.
1 For current rules on Cayman STAR (Special Trusts (Alternative Regime) see Part VIII of the Cayman Trusts Law (2009
Revision).
2 See fn. 7 supra.
3loi no214 of 1936, as modified by loi no 1216 of 1999.
4 This is not a general issue in English law as there is a wide degree of freedom of testation, subject tolimited statutory modification under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

reference to a commercial model from the continent, known as the Anstalt, which is particular to

Liechtenstein1.

While a trust is always recognisable from its constituent elements, the corporation grew from the

17th Century concept of shared co-entrepreneur assets being held in trust and dedicated to the enterprise in question. In onshore jurisdictions this is still the typical set-up with a clear distinction being upheld between a personified holding vehicle (the corporation) and a trust2. While it seems more logical that the motive for setting up the trust in the first place would dominate, as the corporation steered the vessel along the course of best financial growth and prosperity, this has not been the case. One reason may be that if one displaced the beneficiaries of a trust with the motive behind the trust then one would stray into the tenuous realm of purpose trusts over which strict rules of perpetuity apply3. The distinction that is reserved onshore between corporation and trust is not accidental; both complement one another very well. On the one hand the corporation has the ability to fulfil purposes of any kind whatsoever and to hold various classes of shares depending upon its individual outcomes. In many ways these powers replicate the wide range of beneficial interests normally associated with the trust but without the complications of such issues like the beneficiary principle. On the other hand, shares in the corporation may be controlled using the trust vehicle, setting out the administration of family shareholdings under the
traditional aegis of trustee obligations and enforceable equitable interests.

1 For an interesting examination of the nature of an Anstalt with respect to a common law jurisdiction, see the United States Internal Revenue Service memorandum number AM2009-012. Section 301.7701-4(a) of the Procedure and Administration Regulations provides that the Internal Revenue Code prescribes the classification of various organisations for federal tax purposes.Section 301.7701-4(a) of the regulations provides that, in general, the term “trust” as used in the Code refers to an arrangement created by will or by an inter vivos declaration whereby trustees take title to property for the purpose of protecting or conserving it for the beneficiaries under the ordinary rules provided in chancery or probate courts. In this case, the IRS decided that an Anstalt was not a trust for taxation purposes.
2 Patten LJ discusses this somewhat simplistically in JSC BTA Bank v Kythreotis & Others [2010] EWCA Civ 1436 at [26]. He indicates that the assets of an individual includes those held under a Liechtenstein Anstalt ‘when the defendant retains beneficial ownership or effective control of the asset.’
3 See e.g. Roxburgh J’s discussion In Re Astor’s Settlement Trusts. v Astor v Scholfield and Others[1952] Ch 534; In Re Endacott [1960] Ch 232; Re Denley’s Trust Deed [1969] 1 Ch. 373; Hanchett-Stamford v Attorney General[2008] EWHC 330. Sections 5 and 18 of the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 2009 may also be examined with respect to this issue.

While it has been argued that the legal personification of the trust may lead to greater flexibility with respect to investment, perpetuity, and property holding, this seems somewhat unnecessary and complicated. The last thing that many trusts academics and practitioners would like to see in England and Wales is the domestic equivalent of the Liechtenstein Anstalt, an entity unknown outside Liechtenstein and perhaps with good cause. It is a distinct legal person with a specified internal organization, entered in the Commercial Registry; it is only at this point that it will gain its legal personality. The Anstalt holds rights and property that are personal to it and is generally not a public company.

An Anstalt may have members and capital divided into parts in one case or no members and undivided capital in another. For the most part, the Anstalt is a privately organised undertaking with its own legal personality and founded with a stated amount of capital.

The purpose of the Anstalt are set forth by the Founder in the articles of incorporation and can be stated as desired, provided that the same are not immoral or illegal in application. The purpose may be of a commercial or non-profitable nature, but if the purpose permits the Anstalt to engage in commercial activities it must keep proper records of its transactions and also submit accurate financial statements on an annual basis1.

One very real issue with this somewhat peculiar vehicle is that it seems to be all things to all people. It is something of a chimaera, a synthesis of a trust and a corporation; in another light it appears as a hydra with multiple co-existing heads. On the one hand it may be treated as a trust with objects associated with the traditional Anglo-Saxon construct and yet on the other it is its own legal person. If on the one hand its objects can hold the Anstalt to account as a traditional beneficiary might a trustee, this would seemirreconcilable with the notion that the corporation also administers property for business purposes as if it was the outright owner with its own specific legal personality.There is no one to hold this trustee/absolute title holder to account.It would seem better to retain the current distinction between legal personalities, such as corporations and the
trust. There seems no particular need to compromise the flexibility of the trust, subject to precedent

1 See Timothy D Scrantom and Romasa Butt, Common Law and Tax Recognition of the Anstalt and Foundation,
Trusts & Trustees (1999) 5 (2): 27-30.

and case law, by imposing clear statutory limitations and regulations upon it as would be required should it acquire legal personality. By retaining the latter with respect to corporations and the former with respect to trusts there would be the best of both.

There is also the problem of encouraging the use of the Anstalt as a method of avoiding taxation, turning England & Wales into an onshore version of an offshore tax haven1. For, if one may appear to be a beneficiary of an Anstalt with respect to enforcement powers, but the Anstalt itself is the owner of its own funds, then the beneficiary would be allowed to escape tax liability. This makes little sense and has little to recommend it. It is most likely, therefore, that in England and Wales this distinction will be retained in at least the foreseeable future.

Other Legal Systems: Waqf

At the same time as civil law systems have attempted to assimilate the trust concept, there are suggestions that other legal systems already have equivalents of trusts. The most common of these concepts iswaqf under Islamic law. Waqf literally means “detention” and is a legal entity agreed to exist by all four Islamic schools of thought; the Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali and Schafii schools. As a discussion of waqf for every school of thought and jurisdiction is beyond the remit of this article, the law on waqf in Bangladesh will be highlighted as an example. Under the Waqfs Ordinance,
1962 (East Pakistan Ordinance No 1 of 1962), a waqf is when a waqif gives an asset2 to a mutawalli

to manage the waqf and fulfil its aims. Fundamentally, the mutawalli does not own the property;

he is only a “manager” with duties similar to good faith rather than fiduciary duties. The waqf

1 Alastair Hudson has written about this issue in: A Hudson, Understanding Equity & TrustsThird Edition (2008) Oxford, at 179-181. See also Baker (Inspector of Taxes) v Archer-Shee [1927] AC 844with respect to tax implications for a beneficiary under a trust despite the trustees being a company with full power of investment over the trust fund.
2 Whilst this is traditionally land section 2(10) of the Waqfs Ordinance, 1962 includes both movable and immovable property.

property is either seen as ownerless1 or owned by God2.When this property is transferred, the capital is tied up in the waqf and cannot be replaced3. The mutawalli can use money4 and income to fulfil waqf aims, with the general aim of preserving the waqf capital.If the mutawalli wants to use capital, then he can apply to the administrator for permission5, but this at the discretion of the Administrator. Waqfs are overseen by an Administrator6 whose function is similar to the enforcer for certain offshore trusts.7

Lupoi argues that the definition of a trust in the 1985 Hague Trusts Convention is so shapeless that
waqf can be seen as trusts8. However it is submitted that there are similar problems as to those discussed for fiducie above. Whilst waqf and trusts are used for similar purposes, they are

1 This is a particular issue for English law as the doctrine of estate does not allow for the concept of ownerless property. Indeed the bona vacantia rule was created so that property would always have an ultimate owner, even if it has to revert to the Crown. This is also an issue for civil law jurisdictions where the state or local authority has the right to claim the property after a certain period of time, such as 30 years in France. Whilst in Bangladesh section
12 of The Abandoned Property (Control, Management and Disposal) Order, 1972 (President’s Order No 16 of 1972) states that abandoned property of a waqf can be vested in the Government, the Government of Bangladesh only retains ownership pending the appointment of fresh mutawallis.
2 Property owned by God creates a particular issue for Western legal systems due to the lack of ability to join God as
a party to litigation in the courts. See e.g. in Nebraska, USA the attempt by Senator Chambers to sue God in 2007, which was stuck out at a preliminary stage due to a lack of address for serving God as defendant. Similar argument shave been for dismissing claims against Satan, see e.g. United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff,54
F.R.D. 282 (1971).
3 Section 2(10) of the Waqfs Ordinance, 1962 states that waqf means the permanent dedication of property.
4 Section 59 of the Waqfs Ordinance, 1962.
5 Section 56 of the Waqfs Ordinance, 1962.
6 Section 7 of the Waqfs Ordinance, 1962.
7 Section 27 of the Waqfs Ordinance, 1962 specifies the powers and functions of the administrator: “Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance and the rules made thereunder the powers and functions of the Administrator shall include- (a) investigating and determining the nature and extent of waqfs and waqf properties, and calling, from time to time, for accounts, returns and information from mutawallis; (b) ensuring that the waqf properties and income arising therefrom are applied to the objects, and for the purposes and for the benefit of any class of persons for which such waqfs were created or intended; (c) giving directions for the proper administration of waqfs; (d) m anaging himself, or through the officers and servants employed under this Ordinance or persons authorised by him, any waqf of which he may take or retain charge under this Ordinance and doing all such acts as may be necessary for the proper control, administration and management of any such property; (e) fixing the remuneration of a mutawalli, where there is no provision for such remuneration in the waqf deed; (f) investing any money received as compensation for the acquisition of waqf properties under any law for the time being in force, by himself or by issuing directions for proper investment by the mutawalli; and (g) generally doing all such acts as may be necessary for the due control, maintenance and administration of waqfs.”
8 See fn. 37supra.

fundamentally different in concept. The most fundamental distinction between a waqf and a traditional trust is that waqf are meant to last for ever, whilst trusts, at least in England and Wales, are meant to follow the rules against perpetuities1.Furthermore, under a waqf, since the mutawalli does not own the property, there is no title transfer as required under Article 2 of the 1985 Hague Trusts Convention to be classified as a trust. Whilst it might be argued that it is so close that it should be recognised, the stronger counter-argument is that the convention has already made concessions to being recognised in as many states as possible by having such a loose definition of the trust. By not meeting these criteria, waqf cannot be recognised as trusts. The appointment of an administrator might be similar to some offshore trusts jurisdictions but whether these would be recognised in English law is debateable2.

Furthermore, the lack of a perpetuity period and legal title owner of the property means, as well as a lack of fiduciary duties for the mutawalli3 means that waqf would be seen as contrary to public policy under English law by virtue of Article 18 of the Hague Convention and as such not recognised in England and Wales as trusts. It is submitted that as long as the Islamic schools of thought do not see the trust as being contrary to fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence, sharia law has the ability to adapt in a more flexible way than many civil law jurisdictions. Furthermore, so long as
the fundamental tenets of trust law are accepted, then it is possible to add further restrictions for

1 See fn. 7 supra. A detailed criticism of the rules against Perpetuities has been made by Gallanis, “The Rule Against Perpetuities and the Law Commission’s Flawed Philosophy”, 59 Cambridge Law Journal 284 (July, 2000)in which his conclusion is that the economic and social policy justifications for the rules against perpetuities in England and Wales do not stand up to scrutiny. Although perpetuity period for the rule against remoteness of vesting was modified by the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 2009, a comparison to perpetuity periods in other major trusts jurisdictions reveals that this is still far more conservative than average. Although it is unlikely that any major development beyond the 2009 Act will happen soon, it is submitted that Gallanis’ criticisms are valid and consequently there is room for further development for perpetuities in English law.
2See e.g. Matthews, From Obligation to Property and Back Again?, Hayton (Ed), Extending the Boundaries of Trusts and Similar Ring Fenced Funds (Kluwer, 2002). In essence Matthews’ argument is that, since the enforcer is not meant to have any rights in the property, by deduction the enforcer rights must be personal in nature. These personal rights are not a sufficient counterbalance to ensure that the trustee duties are properly fulfilled. Therefore the same problems of ensuring that there is somebody to whom the court can decree performance of the trustee duties remains and the purpose trust will be seen as contrary to public policy under Article 18 of the 1985 Hague Trusts Convention.
3 See fn. 35 and fn. 36supra.

how a trust could be used so that it is consistent with Islamic legal principles. As such it is submitted that, if acceptable, a wholesale adoption of trust law principles would be a more advantageous method of using trusts in sharia law.

Conclusion

Considering the flexibility and array of uses for the trust concept, it would be surprising if other legal systems did not have something similar to the trust. Yet it cannot be forgotten thatthe trust as a property holding device was created due to the particular way in which property rights can be held under English law and the historical developments of case law and legal concepts specific to England and Wales. Other jurisdictions have attempted through a variety of means to incorporate the trust into their domestic law. However, the consistent result has been that incorporation of a trust will only be successful if the jurisdiction has been willing to accept the connected standards of duties placed upon trustees, the derivative rights granted to beneficiaries, and the standards expected in how the trust is administered. Many jurisdictions have been unwilling to do this for a variety of reasons. Unless other jurisdictions can overcome these issues and find means of accepting the trust concept with all of its related rights and duties, the alternatives to trusts will remain an unsatisfactory compromise and the concept of an ‘International Trust’ will remain out of reach.

Pervading Modernism, Shrivelling Procedural Obsolesecnce: Commending a case for Digitalised Court System

The slumberous attempts at digitising the judicial system since the 1990s is an inferential extension of the franchise aimed at facilitating simplification, modernisation and systematic progression in the legal arena. This, as many court administrators, lawyers and judges around the world foresaw, has ground-breaking potentials to trailblaze constructive characteristics on the procedural aspects of a litigation, mostly by means of positive exploitation of the progressive technological advancements of the 21st century.

In simple terms, the concept of ‘electronic’ Court is a proposed means by which pending and ongoing cases can be dealt with more efficiently by conscientiously utilising information and communication technologies (ICT). Quite unsurprisingly, the idea in itself is neither unrealistic nor fiercely demanding, but rather an organic and incremental accession of the ICT into the judicial system, its proliferation firmly moored in both theroitical and practical pragmatism. Initially being implemented in an ad hoc basis, the idea gained practical momentum in light of overwhelming benefits that it yielded and the potential it afforded; Singapore, for instance, inspired by its success, installed litigation-management and support technology in their courtrooms with great success.1

A well-constituted e-Court system would have lustrous prospects of allowing organised dispensation of justice at a cost-effective, expeditious and transparent manner, ensuring unbiased, independent and impartial legal uprightness in a highly efficient and user-friendly manner, under a general comparative standard of conventional court process. Possibly the most significant barr to access to justice in modern legal system, globally, is the rapid accumulation of cases with slow disposal rate, which has resulted in unimaginable backlog and procedural stagnancy.
The concept has the added advantage of round-the-clock accessibility, downgrading of the adversarial nature of the court system to a more inquisitorial one, and the shunning of the almost

1 https://www.iacajournal.org/index.php/ijca/article/viewFile/132/118

defunct and crippling culture of employing expensive lawyers in tailored suits and long hours of legal meetings and court proceedings. It has the unrealised budding of convenience and transparency. It is essentially redundant to the practice of physically carrying and transfering of files and evidences to and fro the courtrooms and the corporeal presence of the accused and the witnesses, since the facility of digitalised data storage and video conference would render it a lavish state of affair. This will effectively displace the unholy reliance from paper-based evidence that has historically caused unnecessary delays when lost or misplaced, and would prevent physical tampering and environmental degradation of the evidences. The application of the system would further elevate the likelihood of a more systematic, widespread and stringent praxis of ADR.

It is worth noting that the author intends this disquisition to portray a picturesque print of the concept as a viable alternative to the tedious and coventional court processes and further all possible avenues to unburden it; the idea in itself has potentially infinite prospect for other forms of utilisation, which includes systematic employment of the platform on a purely advisory basis by an individual seeking a third party independent opinion for, for instance, disputed will, divorce settlement, or even family quarrels and personal diemmas, and bring them as an authoritative and highly persuasive premise to the negotiation table, without having to cut through all the red tape of the normally lengthy litigation process.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is often cited as the best example of electronic court. Regulation of the Court 26 explains:

The Court shall establish a reliable, secure, efficient electronic system which supports its daily judicial and operational management and its proceedings.

The ICC e-Court Software Suite is formulated to manage transcript, evidence, associated materials, audio and video broadcast, its systematic integration with external resources, and provide a “public” broadcast, with the assistance of advanced in-house technology with the intention to make it available not only to the parties involved but to those interested outside the court, ensuring
consistent exchange of information.2 But it should be noted that ICC is neither the first

2 http://www.aija.org.au/Law&Tech%2008/Papers/Keddie%20&%20Flores%20PPT.pdf

international court nor the only one with such advanced technological support. By 1997, it was estimated that there were as many as 50 high-technology courtrooms in the world.3

In the United Kingdom, the abstract of e-Courts have materialised and gained momentum in multifarious forms in the recent years, with a digital concept court operating in Birmingham Magistrates’ Court 4 and electronic filing of bundles being piloted by the UK Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council5. While much of the initiatives are yet to take effect in full swing, significant progress and feasible proposals furthering the cause have been made.

Damian Green, former Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice, proposed in 2013 a number of measures, under the coalition government, for a radical overhaul of the traditional system by 2016 and sweeping digitisation of it, against an investment of £160 million. The services would include, inter ali, full WiFi connectivity in the majority of 500 courts, setting up of Digital Evdience Screen, rolling out the digital case file to replace the current paper ones, accessibility of information between all the stakeholders, special measures for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, online case progress reports and updates, and giving evidence and testimonies by secured video channels. This mass digitisation and simplification of justice systems will ensure that scarce police resources are used providently and help create a lean, modern and responsive system, thereby avoiding expensive, time consuming and risky transfers of thousands (approximately 13, 500 a year) offenders from prison to court, thereby cumulatively saving millions of officer hours a year and creating a more accessible and transparent justice system.6

Although such supersonic level of advancement is yet to materialise, positive progression is not undocumented. Certain online portals, such as www.ecourt.co.uk, offers “competent afforadble, secure, transparent and speedy justice” for those availing its service. The process is fairly simple. While it reduces the cost of lawyers and judges acting as intermediary and arbitrtor, the process
cannot be said to be wholly inexpensive if seen from an expansive view.

3 Damian Schofield and Stephen Mason, Using Graphical Technology to Present Evidence, from Electronic Evidence, Steven
Mason (editor) 3rd Edition, LexisNexis 2012
4 https://quarterly.blog.gov.uk/2013/10/22/the-digital-court/
5 https://www.supremecourt.uk/procedures/electronic-bundle-guidelines.html
6 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/damian-green-digital-courtrooms-to-be-rolled-out-nationally

These service providers are merely providing legal opinion based on logic and a sense of fair play, against a sum that may vary from £25 to £10,000, with an option to appeal. As far as the legality of the verdict reached is concerned, it is merely pursuasive if the parties agree to it. It may fall under the law of contract if the parties commit their assent in writing. It has no precedental significance, the establishment having no authority to sanction legal redress nor the power to subpoena. One may be correct to find such arrangement as a fanciful alternative to consulting a lawyer in a conventional manner. While one may be just to treat it as an invaluable and innovative, but ancillary, addition, it is not incorporation of e-Court system in its purest form, since it is not an alternative to the traditional court system.

In the UK every year the courts and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) use roughly 160 million sheets of paper, whilst in Australia if one is to stack every paper document held in the storage facilities of Australia’s Federal Circuit Court and Family Court they would stand staggering 24 kilometres high – its maintainance costing the National Treasury about $1 million annually7. Nevertheless, both the Australian courts have implemented internet-connected cameras, used for about 250 hours a month, and facilities of portal with live chat feature used by an average of 200 people a day. Though extremely sluggish, the initiative was taken back in the 1990s, evident from the abolishment of the ‘original document rule’ through the enactment of the Evidence Act 1995. The ultimate aim is to diminish the traditional form of archiving so that the days of trolleys full of papers coming into the courtrooms are brought to an end. 8

From a convenient system of word search, highlighting and bookmarking to having a reliable electronic access to legal research materials, the electronic nature of the system would necessarily make the process more efficient, cost effective and time saving for the judges, requiring less time to be spent in chambers conducting paper-based research. It is not sufficient for judgments and
other court materials to be available online for reference purposes only. The internet should be

7 http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/australian-courts-1-million-a-year-paper-problem-20141125-
11thmm.html
8 http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/australian-courts-1-million-a-year-paper-problem-20141125-
11thmm.html

positively exploited at all stages of the court proceeding, from filing the originating or appellate proceeding, to final determination.

In 1993 in the United States, an innovative project was set up at the William and Mary Law School in Virginia, called the Courtroom 21 Project – later changed to the Center for Legal and Court Technology –with the goal “to improve the world’s legal systems through the appropriate use of technology.” Initiatives such as this began to appear elsewhere in the world, often a joint collaboration between theoretically oriented academics and practically oriented court system officials.9

Professor Bing, in Greenleaf, Mowbray and Lewis’ Australasian Computerised Legal Information

Handbook quite correctly stated:

“… the lawyer is like a treasure hunter in the wilderness of legal sources … (being) dependent upon some sort of navigation instruments and treasure maps. The most efficient retrieval tool available is the computerized legal information services. A lawyer not familiar with such tools may not be considered illiterate today, but he certainly will be severely handicapped tomorrow.”

It applies for lawyers as much as the judges, court administrators and litigants. Full digitisation would require even the most inadept person to acquire the basic computing skills before approaching the digital court’s vicinity. Notwithstanding, a significant determinant factor is the issue of funding such intricate system to computerisation, since it competes with important purposes like public safety, education, child welfare, mental health, and medical care. It is important for the assessors to carefully analyse cost against benefit and ensure that the benefit outweighs the cost. The mere convenience of improved court system does not take the battle for pounds and dollars very far unless the State is shown to have been losing money from such inconvenience. To warrant funding in a democratic state, court technology must be able to further improve our ability to impact the lives and communities it serves. To that end, the concept of
‘digital’ court is worth every penny afforded because of its towering potentials.

9 See: http://law.wm.edu/academics/intellectuallife/researchcenters/clct/

Nevertheless, credible concerns about security of information and the channel of communication have been voiced, since there exists general mistrust of the internet and the perception that the sensitive information being stored may be sabotaged or misused by its sacred guardians. This can be averted by ensuring a duplicate copy of a Court’s database, strict regulatory enactments, technicians, regulatory watchdogs, and ensuring advanced cyber defence system. It must be always ready to be used and a breach in security would incapacitate the entire structure for indeterminate duration of time. This justifies hardcopy of every evidence and document, for documentation and safety purpose. The question remains: would it really reduce the costs that it averred it would?

Adoption and systematic adaptation of the scheme is not an immoderate extravagance, as many conservative minds would reiterate, but rather a necessity, a promise, and a constitutional right of the populace. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is fairly amenable and even though there is no unambiguous expression in any of the Articles suggestive of digitisation of the judicial processes, several Articles rationalises it. End, after all, often justifies the mean.

Article 27 of the Constitution, for instance, intends the citizens to be equal before the law and entitles them to an equal protection of the law. Article 18 affirms that the State shall endeavour to ensure equality of opportunity to all citizens. The monstrous degree of case backlog in Bangladesh prevents one from affording his right under the said Articles and the concept under consideration would give the judiciary the requisite innovation it needs to create leeway for one to rightfully enjoy the fruits of his rights.

Further, Article 14 states that it shall be the fundamental responsibility of the state to emancipate backward sectors of the society from all forms of exploitations. Article 35(3) ensures a speedy and fair trial. The Constitution has professed to recognise such concepts as ‘equality before the law’,
‘equal protection of the law’, ‘rule of law’, amongst others. In light of these discussions, it would be correct to observe that digitisation, perhaps something similar to Damian Green’s proposition, would in essence uphold the virtues of the Constitution and will help the legal system realise the cornerstone of omnipresent justice.

However, mere digitisation will not suffice. In Bangladesh, and most of its neighbouring countries, the practice of the concept would be embraced with perplexity and willful defiance. Even in the

West, there is less enthusiasm, perhaps even scepticism, towards the modernisation and a favourism towards the conventional practice with pen and paper amongst certain breed of judges.10
The Delhi High Court, for instance, has six paperless e-courts while the The High Court of Karnataka has established two more. The problem with the system, in Ram Mohan Reddy’s11 words,

“Can we think of e-courts if advocates are not ready to adopt cause list provided in electronic form and object to the stopping of supply of cause list in printed form?”12

This is, to many experienced advocates of law, not surprising since such apprehensive attitude persists amid senior lawyers, the judges, court adimistrators, and even the forerunners amongst them. Besides training and educating these diversified selection of stakeholders, it is pivotal for the government to clearly depict the relevant political objective and expected outcome as well as positively involve both the Bench and the Bar in the process. Adaption is more important than adoption.

The politically unassailable agenda of the Bangladesh’s incumbent government persisting from

2008, Vision 2021, defends technological emancipation and a solemnised vow to create ‘Digitial Bangladesh’ before the country turns 50. Though any significant development on that front is yet to be substantiated, a rabbit can easily be conjured from a hat. A failure to ensure such digitisation would be an embarrassing failure, from all the three fronts: defeating a wailing cry for necessity, a political pledge and, more importantly, the constitutional right.

The world has entered an era of fast-paced digitisation, rampant human profusion, globalisation, multiplying debts, scarcity of resources, increasing legal, social and moral dilemma and impasse, and an uncontrollably high inflation of material demand. The judicial system, incidentally, is at
the epicenter of the circus. To use quilt and pachment in an era of computer and internet is nothing

10 http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/australian-courts-1-million-a-year-paper-problem-20141125-
11thmm.html
11 Judge of the High Court of Karnataka and Chairman of the Court Computerisation Committee
12 http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/can-we-think-of-ecourts-if-lawyers-arent-ready-for-even-ecause- list/article4586980.ece

short of absolute hilarity, wilful ignorance and an insult to one’s intellect. Technology has creeped

into every sphere of one’s life, including the judicial system.

The author is not suggesting any form of revolutionary refurbishment of all the courtrooms around the world: practicality may dictate the traditional arrangement to prevail over the modern digitalised one or perhaps the cost will outweigh benefits – the possibilities are limitless and to draw one single conclusion would be thoroughly ill-advised. Necessary strategic planning must be done. But more importantly, customary hollow words should diligently be repleted with some
positive actions and, of course, good many boxes of algorithms.13