Dr. Kamal Hossain
Enrolled: 1982 (Senior Advocate)
Head of Chambers and Senior Partner
Dr. Kamal Hossain is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court and the senior-most lawyer in the country.
His practice areas have covered admiralty, banking, corporate and commercial, constitutional and administrative, energy, international and commercial arbitration, and oil and gas law.
Dr. Hossain has acted as lead counsel on numerous landmark cases before the Supreme Court. His major constitutional law cases include Anwar Hossain Chowdhury v Bangladesh And Jalaluddin v Bangladesh And Ibrahim Sheikh v Bangladesh 41 DLR (AD) (1989) 165 (the Eighth Amendment Case), Kudrat e Elahi Panir v Bangladesh 44 DLR (AD) (1992) 319, BRAC v Professor Mozaffar Ahmed and others And Bangladesh Bank v Professor Mozaffar Ahmed and others 2002 22 BLD (AD) 41, Md. Asadduzzaman v Bangladesh 42 DLR (AD) 144, Shah Abdul Hannan and others v Bangladesh 16 BLC (2011) 386, Abdul Jalil and others v Mrs. Sharon Laily Begum Jalil And v Mrs. Sharon Laily Begum Jalil v Abdul Jalil and others 50 DLR AD (1998) 55, and Tofazzal Hossain v Province of East Pakistan 18 DLR (1966) 736 among others. Some of his notable commercial law cases include Al Sayar Navigation Co. v Delta International Traders Ltd. and others 34 DLR (AD) (1982) 110, M/s MM Ispahani v Sonali Bank 37 DLR(AD) (1985) 1, and Bangladesh v M/s Mashrique Textiles and others 35 DLR(AD) (1983) 66 among others.
Dr. Hossain was a member of the ICSID panel of arbitrators and appeared as counsel and arbitrator in many arbitrations involving oil and gas issues and international commercial disputes. Among other international appointments, Dr. Hossain served for two terms on the United Nations Compensation Commission for Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990-91 (1994 – 96 and 1999 – 05), the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Palestine (2001), and as the Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan (1998 – 03).
Dr. Hossain holds a BA degree from the University of Notre Dame (1955), and a BA Hons (Juris) (1957) and BCL (1958) degrees, and a DPhil in International Law (1964) from the University of Oxford. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales from Lincoln’s Inn (1959), and permitted to practise before the High Court in Pakistan (1959) and in Bangladesh (1971), and was appointed as a Senior Advocate (1982).
Dr. Hossain is the author of Law and Policy in Petroleum Development: Changing Relations between Transnationals and Governments (Frances Pinter, London, 1979); Legal Aspects of the New International Economic Order (Nichols, New York, 1980), (co-edited with Subrata Roy Chowdhury), Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources in International Law (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 1984), and Bangladesh: Quest for Freedom and Justice (University Press Limited, Dhaka, 2013) and of many articles on constitutional law and sustainable development among others.
Dr. Hossain was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in 1970. He served as Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (1972), Minister of Law (1972), Minister of Petroleum and Minerals (1974), and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1974 – 75) of the Government of Bangladesh.
Dr. Hossain was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1976 – 77) and a founder of the Centre for the New International Economic Order. He taught Constitutional Law and International Law at Queen’s College, Oxford (1957 – 59), and at the University of Dhaka (1962 – 67). He was also a Visiting Professor at the Free University of Amsterdam (1997).
Dr. Hossain served in leadership roles in several national and international lawyers’ associations. He was Vice-Chair of the International Law Association (2000 – 16); Member, Gas Law Committee, International Bar Association (1990 – 95), Member, Executive Committee, Energy Section, LAWASIA (1989 – 90); He was elected as President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Bangladesh (1990 – 91), Vice-Chairman of the Bangladesh Bar Council (1989 – 95), and Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council (1969 – 71).
Dr. Hossain was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Mineral and Petroleum Law at the University of Dundee. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 2018.
Dr. Hossain is a member of the Dhaka Bar Association, the Supreme Court Bar Association, and the Hon’ble Society of Lincoln’s Inn. He is the Emeritus Chairperson of the South Asia Foundation – Bangladesh, and also chairs the South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (SAILS), the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), and the International Law Association, Bangladesh Branch.