Top Stories

My Lord the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court. President Court of Appeal and other Judges of the Court of Appeal. Learned High Court Judges and other Judicial officers. It is with overwhelming pleasure I rise today on behalf of Bar to warmly welcome your Lordship as the 44th Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Your Lordship Joined the Bar on the 23rd August 1977 and later Joined me and other colleagues in the Attorney General’s Department as an Acting State Counsel on the 13th Feb 1978. I had the privilege of  association with your Lordship for nearly 5 years until we parted ways.

As I always used to remember, your Lordship was possessed with sober habits and total concentration on work and work only. Your Lordship rose the ladder in the Attorney General’s Department with patience and dedication and was finally appointed as a Deputy Solicitor General. Thereafter Your Lordship was appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal in the year 2002 and gradually ascended in your career with endurance and fortitude. During your Lordships career in the Judiciary your conduct has been exemplary and impeccable. Your Lordship never thought it fit to dable with the Executive and compromise the Independence of the Judiciary. 

Your Lordship’s judgments were never colored with criteria other than Law or merit. Your Lordship considered all persons to be equal before the Law. Though this principle is enshrined in our constitution sad to say that it has been practiced in the breach rather than with compliance by our courts for nearly a decade and a half. 

We are fully aware that the last occasion this rule, article 12(1) of the Constitution was put in to practice by the very judges who were hand picked and appointed to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court had the courage and the resilience to stand up against the very Executive that appointed them and expand the Law on Fundamental rights.

 

Judgments of Lordships court have to be respected . They have to be respected not only by the other two organs namely the Executive and the Legislature. They have to be respected by your Lordships Court. 

I am sure that a new era has begun with a ray of hope shining upon your Lordship’s appointment to the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice. Your Lordship has amply demonstrated your simplicity over the years and most recently by refusing to attend any openings of Court Houses and leaving it only to the Bar and the Ministry of Justice. 

In the circumstances it is a triumph over evil as the good men have acted wisely in appointing your Lordship as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. 

Your Lordship had your early education from Hindu College Jaffna. You have made your alma mater Proud by becoming the first ever Chief Justice from your college. Your Lordship has also made the entire nation proud with the foundation laid for the much needed North South dialog with understanding and tolerance. 

Your Lordships appointment to this High Office is in total compliance with the Latimer House Principles which forms the foundation for the appointment of judges to the Apex Court. 

The unanimous ratification of Your Lordship’s appointment by the Parliamentary Council is an ample demonstration of the confidence of the Legislature of our country.

Bar extends its fullest endorsement  of your Lordship as the Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and I take this opportunity to Warmly welcome your Lordship to this coveted office.

This country faces so many serious challenges, so many great opportunities, so many missed opportunities, so many burdensome responsibilities.  Your Lordship’s Court may rest assured that that the Bar will lend its unqualified support in your Lordship’s Court dispensing Justice in this land without fear or favour.

In that endeavour it is the responsibility of the Bar to stand by the Judiciary and your Lordship’s Court shall know very well that the Bar shall not fail in its duty as has always been the case. 

Your Lordship Justice Anil Gunaratna. You Lordship had your early education with the motto Disce Aut Discade at Royal College Colombo. Your Lordship joined the Bar in 1978 October. You obtained your Masters Degree in Law from the university of Exeter UK. You devilled under Mr. G F Sethukavalar PC. You joined the Attorney General’s Department in 1979.  Your career in the AGs Department spanned over a period of 28 years. During this period the experience you gained ranged wide. Originally you worked in both civil and criminal fields. You handled matters ranging from Commercial arbitrations, commercial matters  concerning the government departments and corporations, interpretation of statutes and examination of bills were among them. During this period you gained wide experience attending many a seminars and work shops internationally and locally. 

After your long service in the Attorney General’s Department you were appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2007.  During this period you served in the Court of Appeal. You were overlooked on three occasion for appointment to the Supreme Court. However you remained buoyant and unmoved. On the bench you acted with dignity and decorum. When the rat race began and the others overtook you remained unmoved in your resolve to remain true to yourself and dignity of the Judiciary. When the bar became restless over what was happening Your Lordship must have been watching events unfold with that inscrutable smile knowing very well that Justice will be done, eventually. 

You have dedicated your entire professional life from its cradle, straddling over 35 years to the Public and Judicial service. The Bar is aware of your accomplishments and unimpeachable conduct as a Judge. You have shut the doors to those who were motivated with criteria other than with rule of law who seek entry to influence you to imbalance the scales of Justice that you always held close to your heart even at the risk of being deprived of your due appointments and personal loss. 

At the time of your appointment to the Supreme Court there was a vacancy. It is to that vacancy you were duly appointed. Your character and the judicial conduct was unblemished and flawless. 

The Bar admires you and is proud to Welcome  you as a judge of the Supreme Court. 

After a passage of time, spanning over a decade and half and a long and a hazardous, perilous journey we have reached unsurpassed heights with tranquility and serenity. It is for the judiciary  and the bar to maintain its long lost dignity and take steps to restore it.

The "state of lawlessness’ has to be curbed and controlled by the judiciary.  In this endeavour the role of the legal profession is pivotal. It is the solemn function of the judiciary to ensure that no constitutional or legal functionary or authority acts beyond the limits of its power nor that there be any abuse or misuse of power. Be it the common man, the legislator or the legislature, judicial activism should be applied with vigor and without favour.

The judiciary stands between the citizen and the State as a bulwark against executive excesses,  misuse or abuse of power or the transgression of the statutory limitations imposed by the legislature.

To win our rights and achieve we did not have to suffer as those in South Africa. They were incarcerated, Tortured. Many had to make the supreme sacrifice. Nelson Mandela the iconic apartheid  lawyer, he fought through it and survived. Judicial Independence and the integrity of the Law enforcement authorities are of Paramount importance to the principles of Rule of Law.

We in Sri Lanka have had a democratic spring and we owe it to the people whose great expectations are to be realized. 

There could be no equity and Justice without independence of Judiciary. There could be no independence of judiciary with out a proper and a transparent appointing process of judges. Even if the appointing process is right there must be a healthy environment for the judges to administer Justice. These are  norms that are so closely interwoven. 

To ensure the quality of Justice role of the Bar is pivotal. It should be robust and fearless.

The Commonwealths Fundamental Values are expressed in the following terms: 

‘belief in the liberty of the individual under the law; in equal rights for all citizens regardless of gender, race, colour, creed or political belief; and in the individual’s inalienable right to participate by means of free and democratic political processes in framing the society in which he or she lives.’

we must remain vigilant against the slightest encroachment on judicial independence, not because judicial independence represents some meaningless superficiality, but because without an independent judiciary the rule of law would collapse.

It is inconceivable that a judge might lose office or be demoted or deprived of his due place as has happened many a times because he or she gave judgments against the wishes of the government of the day.

the future is long as well as short. And in the haste we may not discern small, even tiny little steps, totally unintended little steps which might, long term, serve to undermine the principle of judicial independence upon which the rule of law depends.

When we turn a new leaf in the Judicial history of Sri Lanka it is essential that we should bury the past and look forward for a better future. However it is of quintessence to learn from the mistakes and correct the future path. 

My Lord the minor judiciary has to be restored with the pride and its place and given the protection and the motivation that it deserves. There should be a transparent scheme of recruitment, transfers and promotions.  This is the need of the hour. We come before your Lordships Court and seek to enforce legitimate expectation and fight against arbitrariness and despotism. What we fight for the ordinary citizens of this country, If we deprive the minor Judiciary of these salutary safe guards it would be a travesty of justice and we would be destroying the very system we profess that we stand to preserve and protect.

Therefore, there must be a transparent procedure introduced to evaluate and examine the quality of judgments on the basis of how they stand the test of strength in the appellate proceedings and their conduct.

 I have had the privilege of standing before your Lordships Court in many a similar occasion as the Leader of the unofficial Bar.

Hopefully this will be my last address I would make in a similar setting. I hope I have not failed in my duty to place matters in its right perspective with Justice to all, the bench and the bar with malice to none. Some decisions were difficult but I must say that I have had the courage to say and discharge my duty  by the bench and the Bar only with the support of the entire bar who stood by me during my tenure during which I navigated through rough seas.

Permit me to place on record my appreciation to the Senior silks and the Senior Attorneys which form the core of our legal profession, the Bar Council and the members of the Executive Committee of the Bar Association Sri Lanka who travelled from near and far and stood by me unanimously. It is their voice I echoed and aired in this august assembly and out side.

Lastly our Deputy President Mr. Prasanna Jayawardena PC. He stood by me as a tower of strength. The contribution he made to the success of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in all our endeavors is immeasurable and invaluable. In a few weeks I would be handing down the baton in the able hands of an eminent member of the Bar Mr. Jeffrey Alagaratnam PC. He too was associated with me along with the senior silks in some of the most crucial decisions.

My Lords, the Bar considers it fortunate that the Judiciary is heralded by your Lordship in whom we have great confidence in bringing in a change we were all longing for. We have realized that dream and reached the distant dawn. We have done it all, which credit is attributed to the people of our country whose great expectations are now in the hands of the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature. This is the miracle of Asia.

 

May I invoke the blessings of the triple gem and may the infinite grace of the three murthies, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and the blessings of the great Himalayan spiritual masters guide you!

 

 


The Chief Justice 44 and the BASL

by Upali A. Gooneratne, PC

Mr. Peter Mohan Maithree Peiris, the “de facto” Chief Justice, is very much in the news these days, unlike almost all his forty three predecessors, much to the concern of us members of the Bar.

He was so designated first by none other than the present Minister of Justice Hon. Wijedasa Rajapakshe PC, who was the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) when the former assumed office as “CJ 44”in January 2013. It was just one day after the much flawed and since legally annulled “impeachment” of "CJ 43," Dr. Shirani Bandaranayaka who is still considered the incumbent of that hallowed office by the Bar, its national organisation-the BASL and the general public. His earlier appointment as the 25th Attorney General too was not devoid of controversy and criticism. He has also held office as Deputy President of the BASL, albeit for a brief period, nominated by the then President BASL, Mr. W. Dayaratne.

He continues to be engulfed in further controversies, even after the lapse of two years since his purported assumption of office as Chief Justice of the Republic, despite having already disqualified himself, by having held numerous political offices,

He has also gone down in history as the most un-welcomed of the 44 Chief Justices. The then President BASL, Hon. Rakapakshe PC, after refusing to welcome him, lamented that the BASL would have to work alongside him in the future, only as its members  did not want to “let down” their clients.

“The Guardian” of 15th January 2013 reported that “Peiris has been prominent in defending Rajapaksa’s government from allegations of human right violations and enforced disappearances”. The respected International Commission of Jurists, responded, “the appointment of former Attorney General Mohan Peiris as Sri Lanka’s new Chief Justice raises serious concerns about the future of the Rule of Law and accountability in the country”.

The BASL, being the national professional body of all lawyers in Sri Lanka, then numbering approximately 15,000 (fifteen thousand), was adamant in refusing to welcome him at the so-called “ceremonial sitting” organised and attended mainly by lawyers loyal to the then regime. For only the second time in its history, (the first was in September 1999, when this writer as its President had to yield to the pleas of the then newly appointed Chief Justice to have the pre-arranged ceremonial sitting to welcome him on the very next day), the BASL, which by tradition on the appointment of any member to the Superior Courts informs the appointee the Attorney General and the Chief Justice of its desire to welcome the new Judge, did openly boycott the function, requiring the place of its President to be usurped by a self-appointed loyalist of the regime, to save face of not only the appointee but also the appointor, being HE the then President. There was also an unprecedented "media blackout", except for the state owned local media, for the first time in the over two hundred year history of the Supreme Court. Some prominent members of the Bar and regular practitioners of that Court who were conspicuous by their absence, did not ever appear before him even thereafter.

As if these were not enough, he is reported to have been with one of the candidates at the latter’s residence on the night of the recent Presidential election, discarding all norms of ethical conduct, impartiality and independence, despite the fact that it was before the very court headed by him that any challenge to such election would have been referred to. The complaint made to the CID by a present Cabinet Minister alleged that the said candidate had in fact sought his advice to thwart the will of the people expressed at that election.

He is also reported to have ignored the calls for his resignation by the BASL, civil society and the public, despite these very serious and far-reaching allegations made against him. The Judicial Service Association (JSA), consisting of District Judges and Magistrates in the country, whose appointments, promotions, transfers, dismissals etc are handled by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) headed by him too has voiced its concern with regard to his alleged presence at Temple Trees at a time when there was an alleged discussion to make the former incumbent continue in office, regardless of the results. Any person facing such allegations would have promptly resigned in order not to compromise the high esteem and respect of the office held by him.

Mr. Peiris is said to have agreed to leave office on as many as three occasions, to which there are very responsible witnesses but, has subsequently sought to hold onto his office, bargaining for, among other things, a Diplomatic posting. He has even used a hitherto unknown and unheard of ‘’media spokesman’’ to announce the retraction of his earlier undertakings. Neither he nor any of his forty three predecessors is known to have had the services of a media spokesman and nor is there any provision for same. It is now revealed that he is not by any means a “media person”, but a very junior Attorney at Law from an outstation, raising serious concerns about the propriety of such use of a member of the Bar by none other than the Chief Justice, who heads the Supreme Court, which exercises disciplinary control over them.

His previous appointment as Attorney General in 2008 too was seeped in controversy and, was the cause of much displeasure and resentment among the respected members of that Department. Having retired from it in 1996, in terms of Public Administration Circular No.44 of 1990 after 15 years of service, he immediately thereafter reverted to active practice in the unofficial Bar, seeking greener pastures outside. Before soon, he began to enjoy a lucrative practice both on the Civil and Criminal sides until his controversial appointment on 18th December 2008.

It deprived the then Solicitor General Mr .W.P.G. Dep PC, who had devoted his entire career upto then in the service of that Department, of the promotion he so richly deserved. Mr. Dep, who had joined in 1978 and taken Silks in 2000, as against Mr.Peiris in 1981 and 2005 respectively, thereafter had to serve on the Supreme Court bench headed by the latter. though he has always been held in high esteem both by the Bar and the Bench as a person who will never condescend to the level of seeking favours, least of all, from politicians. 

It is in the best interests of all concerned, including Mr. Peiris and, most importantly of the administration of justice, that he leaves office without further delay, with the writing on the wall staring right  in his face. It all started two years ago, when Mr. Upul Jayasuriya invited Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake as Chief Guest for his Ceremonial Induction as President BASL in 2013, discarding Mr. Peiris. HE the present President too chose to take his oath of office on 9th January 2015 before Justice Sripavan, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court, for the entire country to witness. Then came the Conference of Attorneys General to commemorate the 130thanniversary of the Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka where,Mr. Peiris had served as State Counsel, Senior State Counsel and finally as Attorney General. Here again Mr. Jayasuriya, who along with the rest of the Bar had throughout refused to recognise Mr. Peiris’s appointment, had notified its organisers that he and many others, including several senior Silks, would be compelled to walk out if Mr. Peiris was present at this event. It is said that the invitation extended to Mr. Peiris had then to be withdrawn. He is also reported to have gate-crashed into the "receiving line" at the Air Port on the recent visit of the Pope, causing much embarrassment to the protocol officers. 

It is learnt that the CID had questioned him and recorded a statement on the events of the early morning of 9th January, in response to the complaint of the Cabinet Minister, who had gone to the extent of even alleging that there was a conspiracy taking place in the presence or with the participation of Mr.Peiris and some other high officials and, that the disruption of the counting of ballots and the resultant blood bath was avoided only because of the refusal of such officials to fall in line. No Chief Justice, for that matter, even any Judge, has ever been reduced to the humiliation of being quizzed by the Police inside his own chambers, within the precincts of the respected Supreme Court, with regard to an alleged criminal conduct.  

It is therefore time that Mr. Pieris vacates the office he had usurped for two years, at least at this late hour.                                                                                                


 
BASL wants Mohan Pieris to resign
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka today called upon Chief Justice Mohan Pieris to tender his resignation in order to preserve the honour and integrity of the judiciary.

Issuing a statement the BASL said that Mr.Pieris was present at Temple Trees from prior to dawn on January 9th along with some others and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at a time when there were discussions between such persons with regard to possible scenario where former President Rajapaksa would attempt to remain in Office despite losing the popular vote.

"I is reiterated and emphasized that, it is absolutely essential for the Chief Justice and members of the judiciary to remain strictly separate and uninvolved in political and executive decisions," the statement said that was issued following an emergency meeting of the Executive Council of the BASL today.

Full statement



 

Bar Unanimously Calls For De Facto CJ Pieris To Step Down

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Featured News,News,STORIES | 
 Mohan Pieris

Mohan Pieris

“At an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee of the BASL, which was attended by close to 90% of its members, it was unanimously decided to issue a statement calling for the resignation of Chief Justice Mohan Pieris in order to preserve the honour and integrity of the Judiciary in view of the grave and continuing damage being caused to the entire Judiciary as a result of the recent events and uncontradicted reports that Mohan Peiris, while functioning as Chief Justice, was at Temple Trees from prior to dawn of 09th January, 2015 at a time when election results were being announced and political and executive decisions were being taken.” Upul Jayasuriya told Colombo Telegraph.

Bar Mohan

BASL on Mohan

Ceylontoday, 2015-01-17 17:22:00

BASL urges CJ to resign

Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called on Chief Justice Mohan Pieris to tender his resignation to preserve the honor and integrity of the judiciary.

There have been media reports that the CJ was present at the Temple Trees from prior to dawn of 09 January discussing on possibilities of the former President remaining at office despite the loss at elections.


BASL in a statement today said that, "It is reiterated and emphasized that, it is absolutely essential for the Chief Justice and members of the judiciary to remain strictly separate and uninvolved in political and executive decisions."

 


 

BASL calls on CJ Mohan Peiris to tender his resignation

BASL calls on CJ Mohan Peiris to tender his resignation

The Executive Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has called upon Chief Justice Mohan Peiris to tender his resignation in order to preserve the honour and integrity of the Judiciary.

Convening a press conference on Saturday evening in Colombo, the decision reached by the Executive Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka was announced.

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka, in its statement says that there have been reports in the media that Mohan Peiris who functions as the Chief Justice was present at Temple Trees from prior to dawn on January 9,2015 along with some others and Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

 

The Bar affirms that a member of Judiciary should not even be present in such a place. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka says that although its Executive Committee requested the Chief Justice to deny that he was present at Temple Trees, the Chief Justice had not responded to this request as yet.


Can BASL have an opinion on 18 A?

BY Hemantha Warnakulasuriya


By the time you have read this, the Supreme Court would have, under Article 129 (1) of the Constitution, given an opinion in relation to the question submitted to the Supreme Court by His Excellency the President.
I was surprised to see that some of the most sought after Senior Legal Practitioners have tendered their submissions on behalf of their clients to the Supreme Court, purely as professionals. Romesh de Silva PC, and Ikram Mohamed PC, both Ex-Presidents of the Bar Association, who previously took a stand against the impeachment motion and appeared for the Bar Association in related cases, have submitted their written submissions reiterating the fact that there is absolutely no disqualification for His Excellency the President to contest the Presidency for the third time.
These gentlemen have always stood for what they think is correct and would do everything possible to uphold the Rule of Law and the Independence of Justice.
 

BASL ridiculed
The Bar Association has been ridiculed by some of its members, for failing to submit its written submission on the very important question of the eligibility of the incumbent President to contest for the third time, when the Association requested further time and also said they would request an open inquiry so that oral submissions could be made. Some of these critics have failed to realize that the Bar Association is not an Association of some individuals, or the office bearers, or the Executive Committee. I am told it has a membership of 16,500, making it the largest professional organization in Sri Lanka.
 
Though its President, the mercurial Upul Jayasuriya has said the Association wanted more time to submit views on this matter, I would like to mention that the Bar Association could not have come to a decision on this important question, whether or not under the present conditions, HE is qualified to contest for a third term, unless this matter is discussed first by the Executive Committee, then by the Bar Council and finally, by the General Membership. This process would take more than a month to come to a conclusion. Even then it is a pure question of law, which has to be addressed by experts in the field. Already nearly 20 Presidents' Counsels and former Presidents, Deputy Presidents and Secretaries of the Association have tendered their written submissions to the Supreme Court stating that the President can contest for a third term.
 

Therefore, it is my belief that the Bar Association cannot take any position on this matter, either in favour or against the President. Jayasuriya must be commended for having obtained the opinion of an expert from a foreign university, and the paper was submitted at a Public Forum where the Bar invited the Public to listen to four panellists, whom the Bar considered to be experts. Of the four, one of the most respected, independent academics and a practitioner, Dr. Sunil Coorey was of the view that Suri Ratnapala's view on this matter was erroneous and that the President does not 'incur' any disability presently under the Interpretation Ordinance. Therefore, I would wish to ponder a question as to what the Bar Association's thoughts are on this matter, as the matter has not been properly placed before the entirety of its membership.
 

Unanimity
It must be recalled that when the impeachment of the Chief Justice was discussed, at a meeting for the entire membership, where more than 3,000 members gathered, the Bar unanimously decided to oppose the impeachment motion. Similarly, when the Bar Association decided not to appear for any police officer until the suspects in the Wijeydasa Liyanarachchi's case were arrested, for the first time in the history of the Bar Association, the entire membership was summoned, and there was a vote taken and one could remember how Senior President's Counsel K. N. Choksy voted for the motion to the applause of the entire House. Similarly, when Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was appointed to the Supreme Court, the Bar Association did not take a stand on this matter and it was left to me and a few others, like the late Suranjith Hewamanne, Chrishantha Weliamuna and Upul Jayasuriya to request a number of Senior President's Counsels to appear for a number of petitioners who filed papers opposing the appointment of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake.
Similarly, when Mahanama Tillekaratne was arrested it was the members of the Private Bar that appeared for him. I feel constrained to state that some members, who strived to take over the Bar Association and failed to do, are now casting aspersions against the Office Bearers of the Association.
 

The Bar Association is our Association. I was one time Secretary and Deputy President of the Association. I fully endorse and appreciate what the President, Upul Jayasuriya, is doing to safeguard the Rule of Law. Whenever, he makes a mistake, it is up to the members to bring it to his attention for correction. I believe he was misled by others to request for further time from the Supreme Court to tender submissions on this important question of law. Upul Jayasuriya or the Executive Committee cannot decide on this important question of the Interpretation of the Constitution and the 18th Amendment, as the opinions of either Suri Ratnapala or Dr. Sunil Coorey have not been forwarded to the entire membership and ratified by them.

 

Bar Association Action in Defence of the Rule of Law

The International Bar Association’s Bar Issues Commission (BIC) promotes, protects and enforces the role of an independent legal profession in the interest of its 200 bar association members worldwide and is committed to promoting and defending the principles of the IBA’s Rule of Law resolution.

The BIC works in partnership with the IBA Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), and will motivate its members to take appropriate actions on the reports and findings of IBAHRI fact-finding delegations and interventions.

Actions taken by bar associations in support of the BIC’s principles can be found following the links below: 


Sri Lanka fact-finding, 2013

In March 2013, an IBAHRI delegation undertook a remote rapid-response fact-finding mission to investigate the impeachment proceedings of Chief Justice Bandaranayake, the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka.

The report, entitled A Crisis of Legitimacy: The Impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the Erosion of the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka, concluded that the removal from office in Sri Lanka of Chief Justice Bandaranayake was unlawful, is undermining public confidence in the rule of law, and threatening to eviscerate the country’s judiciary as an independent guarantor of constitutional rights.The delegation found there to be a systematic effort to intimidate and discredit lawyers and others who advocate and promote respect for fundamental rights in Sri Lanka.The report made ten recommendations, addressed to the Sri Lankan authorities and to the UN, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group and Member Countries of the Commonwealth the delegation.

The IBAHRI high-level delegation investigated the removal of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the independence of the legal profession in Sri Lanka through a series of in-depth conversations by telephone and via the internet with a range of key players in Sri Lanka, including judges, lawyers, journalists, parliamentarians and civil society activists. The interviews were conducted remotely because authorities would not permit an investigation to take place within Sri Lanka. The IBAHRI delegation comprised:

  • Honourable Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais, a former Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
  • Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy, the first United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers;
  • Sadakat Kadri, a British barrister and the mission rapporteur; and
  • Shane Keenan, IBAHRI Programme Lawyer.

Report launch, House of Lords, 22 April 2013

The IBAHRI report was launched at a high-level panel event at the House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws and IBAHRI Co-Chair. Panellists included members of the delegation, Justice Lawal Uwais and Sadakat Kadri, together with Dr Sunil Coorey, a representative of the Sri Lanka Bar Association. Click here to read more on the launch, including photos and footage from the event

 

 

   

 

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

0
terms and condition.

Comments