The heart of every Bangladeshi swells with pride, even though someone residing miles away from the country brings glory to the nation with their exceptional feat. A Bangladesh-origin lawyer has not only uplifted the legal fraternity but also the whole nation, being appointed as a judge to the High Court in the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II. Akhlaq Ur-Rahman Choudhury, a 50-year-old barrister, is the first British-Bangladeshi to have achieved such a prestigious position of honour in his legal career. He has been assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division, effective from 2 October 2017, form when he will be respected and known as the Honourable Mr. Justice Choudhury.
Justice Choudhury was born in Winchester into the family of Azizur Rahman Choudhury and Sultana Choudhury. His parents migrated to the UK from Zakiganj, Sylhet before the liberation war. However, during the war in 1971, Akhlaq’s father and mother raised funds for contributing in the fight for liberation and were also recognised by General MAG Osmani. He attended Bishopbriggs High School, as he grew up on the outskirts of Glasgow. He obtained a BSc in Physics from University of Glasgow. Later, he pursued his law degree at University of London. He was called to the bar in 1992. He became a Recorder in 2009. In 2015, Justice Choudhury was appointed as Queen’s Counsel. Before being selected as one of the five new High Court Judges in August 2017, he had been working as a Deputy High Court Judge since 2016.
Justice Choudhury specialises in commercial, employment, procurement, information and public law. He was a long-standing member of the Attorney General’s A-panel of Approved Counsel and advised the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and various other government departments. He consulted on various matters concerning human rights violation.
He was retained as counsel for the Information Commissioner and has appeared in many of the important cases in the developing area of freedom of information and data protection law. He represented Timothy James Consulting Ltd. in Timothy James Consulting Ltd. v Wilton  UKEA where £10,000 was awarded for the damage. This is one of the leading cases on taxation of injury to feelings awards. In 2014, he represented appellant DWF LLP in the first automatic suspension case in the Court of Appeal against Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills. Some of his other notable recent cases include; Allan v Wandsworth LBC Eq. L.R. 30 (employment – disability discrimination; local government councillors); BUQ v HRE  IRLR 653 (privacy injunction, right to fair trial); Humphreys v Norilsk Nickel International (UK) Ltd.  EWHC 1867 (QB);  IRLR 976 (bonus claim); R (Ofcom) v Information Commissioner  UKSC 3;  Env LR 20 (environmental information and the public interest).
Justice Choudhury is highly appreciated amongst his peers for his depth of knowledge, leadership skills and amicable nature. He advises not to hesitate to take an approach and finds being a judge enjoyable which he thinks leads him into making himself a better lawyer. The result of his hard work is really exemplary which would hopefully inspire the native legal career pursuers in the long run as the name of Bangladesh continues to be dignified worldwide.