The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) issuing a statement today condemned recent statements made against judges, prosecutors and even private practitioners.
The statement said that BASL unreservedly condemns the statements made with reference to concluded cases, pending litigation, role of Judges, role of prosecutors and the right of representation relating to litigants who are parties to court.
This statement follows accusations raised by an Attorney Ajith Prasanna against some judges, prosecutors and selected lawyers appearing on behalf of victims.
Speaking at a press conference he alleged that some judicial officers and prosecutors have conducted themselves in their official capacity under political influence and for other benefits.
BASL in the statement requested its members to refrain from making such references and to refrain from using the media for such purpose, the statement goes on to state that in the event this trend continues by any of its members the BASL will not hesitate to report such conduct for appropriate action.
“We request our members to act within the ethical standards of the profession and preserve and protect the dignity of the profession,” the statement said.
“Judges and prosecutors exercise a public duty and the BASL is of the opinion that no such Judge or a prosecutor should be taken to task for conducting a prosecution or hearing a case. Our judicial system is a well structured system and any party affected by a decision of a court could always appeal or follow the process identified by the law,” the statement read.
The statement further draws the attention to the concept of “Sub Judice” which is consistently followed within the legal system.
“It is an accepted norm that no references can be made to matters that are pending in court. Any party to such proceedings, any third party and even members of the legal profession should refrain from making such comments on pending litigation”.
Speaking of any person’s right to legal representation the BASL states that it is so recognized under the statutory law and that it is an integral aspect encompassed within the concept of “Rule of Law”.
“Even in the recent past there were a quite a few instances where references were made to pending cases and sometimes the Hon Judges who heard such cases. It is regrettable that this practice is permitted to be continued without any notice being taken in such regard,” the statement said. (By Anuruddha Singgapuli)