What is the role of the Claims Commissioners?
The Claims Commissioners play a vital role in ensuring a fair and transparent system for delivering payments. They are responsible for determining the amount of compensation to be awarded to each claimant within the framework agreed upon by the Coordination Committee. They oversee and certify the correctness and independence of the claims processing and the work of the claims review team. While the Rana Plaza Claims administration is administrative by nature, the Commissioners provide a quasi judicial feature to ensure due process.
Who are the Commissioners for the Rana Plaza Arrangement
Executive Commissioner: Mojtaba Kazazi
Mojtaba Kazazi is currently a practitioner in international law and an independent arbitrator in Geneva. He is a former judge of the high courts of Tehran, and has over 30 years of experience in international dispute resolution and claims proceedings, including negotiations, mass claims processing, and international arbitration.
He served as the Executive Head of the United Nations Compensation Commission (2007- December 2012), and as Secretary of the UNCC Governing Council with Security Council membership (1997-2007). He was instrumental in the setting up and functioning of the Compensation Commission as a subsidiary organ of the Security Council, and the resolution and payment of over 2.7 million claims (for a total claimed value of over USD 350 billion), filed through approximately 100 Governments.
National Commissioner: Advocate Sultana Kamal
Sultana Kamal is a respected lawyer, and a long-standing human rights and women’s rights activist. Alongside her current role as the Executive Director of Ain-o-Salish Kendra (ASK) she chairs Transparency International Bangladesh and co-chairs the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission. She also sits as a trustee of Freedom Foundation, Protichi Bangladesh, Rokeya and the Memorial Foundation and is a member of Bangladesh UNESCO National Commission, The National Legal Aid Committee, The Blue Planet Initiative, the Asia Pacific Forum for Women Law and Development (Regional Network), Women Living Under Muslim Laws (International Network), South Asians For Human Rights and South Asian Partnership among many others.
Sultana has regularly published articles in daily newspapers and periodicals on social, legal and gender issues, has lectured at various universities, including the University of Toronto and Oxford University, and has travelled to over thirty countries to address issues relating to human and womens' rights. She is also one of only four women awarded the the CNC's Special Commendation for her role in the war of liberation and has been awarded the Ananya Top Ten Award (1995) and the Canadian John Humphrey Freedom Award (1996) for her involvement in human rights and women's rights activities.
Read more about Advocate Kamal
National Commissioner: Justice A.B.M Khairul Haque
Justice Haque is the former Chief Justice of Bangladesh and current Chairman of the Law Commission. Justice Khairul Haque received his LL.B from the University of Dhaka (1969) and became Barrister at Law at the Hon’ble Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London (1975). He was enrolled as an Advocate of East Pakistan Bar Council, Dhaka (1970), as an Advocate of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (1976) and as an Advocate of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (1982).
Justice Khairul Haque was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in April, 1998 and confirmed in April, 2000. He was elevated as a Judge of the Appellate Division (Highest Court in Bangladesh) on 16th July, 2009. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of Bangladesh on 30th September, 2010.
How were the Commissioners chosen?
Commissioners are selected based on their integrity, experience and expertise. For the Rana Plaza Claims Administration a panel of 3 eminent jurists, 1 international and 2 Bangladeshi national, with long relevant experience, and an established international reputation were selected by the Coordination Committee through a careful review and screening.
Commissioners act in their personal capacity and shall not have financial interests in any of the claims before them. Commissioners shall not represent any claimant and generally there should be no real or perception of conflict of interests. Each Commissioner should disclose to the CC any past or present circumstances that may give rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her impartiality or independence; and to sign a solemn declaration.
Are the Commissioners paid?
Commissioners are entitled to a fixed monthly remuneration to be paid from the administrative budget of the Rana Plaza Claims administration. However, all 3 Commissioners have decided to donate their salaries for the whole period of the claims administration to the Trust Fund in favour of the victims.