24 February, 2024

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Commonwealth Judges, Magistrates & Lawyers Urge Sri Lankan Govt. To Respect The Independence Of The Judiciary

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) and the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) are very concerned about the Government of Sri Lanka’s refusal to comply with the court order to release the funds allocated for local elections which had been approved by Parliament. As result the elections could not be held. They are deeply concerned by the subsequent referral by the Speaker of Parliament of the three Supreme Court Judges responsible for the decision to the Parliamentary Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

Speaker

The Preamble to the Constitution of Sri Lanka recognizes, inter alia, that the independence of the judiciary is an ‘[…] intangible heritage that guarantees the dignity and well-being of succeeding generations of the People of Sri Lanka […]’. The judiciary is entitled to exercise judicial powers free from any interference or influence by the executive and by the legislature. The judiciary plays a crucial role in ensuring accountability amongst all organs of state.

The decision of the Speaker of Parliament to refer the three Supreme Court judges to the said Committee, in respect of the said Order they made, is an attempt by the legislature to interfere with the judiciary.

The Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Three Branches of Government, which are integral part of the Commonwealth Charter and which Sri Lanka has agreed to abide by, state that:

“Judiciaries and parliaments should fulfil their respective but critical roles in the promotion of the rule of law in a complementary and constructive manner.”

It further states that:

“Best democratic principles require that the actions of governments are open to scrutiny by the courts, to ensure that decisions taken comply with the Constitution,…”

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary provide that:

“It is a duty of all governmental and other institutions to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary … The Judiciary shall decide matters before them, on the basis of facts and in accordance with the law, without any …threats or interference.”

On 5th March 2023, the Commonwealth Bar Leaders unanimously passed the Goa Declaration on “Preserving and Strengthening the Independence of the Judiciary and on ensuring The Independence of the Legal Profession“ that declares:

“The judiciary’s role and function in the scheme of separation of powers in government must be protected and complied with and must not be reversed or nullified, except in accordance with law and applicable domestic legal procedure in compliance with international legal standards “

The Associations urge the Government of Sri Lanka to respect the independence of the judiciary by abiding by the said Order of the Supreme Court. The Associations further urge the Speaker of the Parliament to do likewise and to withdraw the reference to the said Committee and requests Parliament to cease all proceedings before the said Committee.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    0

    One of the major issues we have in Sri Lanka is that we forget the names of the architects and those supporters who are instrumental in passing a bill. Most of these individuals have a personal reason why they are drafting, promoting, passing, and signing in such bills, most of the time it’s due to bribes or remaining in power. This includes the members of the drafting department, the AG, the Minister of Justice, the Cabinet, the Speaker of Parliament, the PM, the President, the MPs who vote for such a bill, and the Leader of the House.

    In the future, if we are to get these individuals to think about the future of the country rather than their own benefit, we should personally name and shame these individuals at every step of the way so that when they jump from one party to another or come in front of the public for votes or on stage to make speeches or also ask for votes or gets appointed for very important positions, we all can show our dissatisfaction.

    • 5
      0

      The bespoke constitution JR wrote tailor-made for the 12 years of his rule has done unimaginable damage to the country ………… and is the root cause of all the troubles today ………. and most of the evil.

      A leader without a people’s mandate ………. 74 year old Ranil’s short-sighted attempts to write laws tailor-made for him …….. to prolong his tenure …… will be the last nail in the coffin.

      Time for people to decide if it’s worth the ……… “Mr Clean’s” :)))))) ………. queue-less 20 litres of gasoline a month.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfMnRAoUwtc

    • 4
      0

      Buddhist 1,
      Agree with you totally!!
      It would be interesting to discern, what was the content of the request’ to the Legal draftsmen and related personnel, in original request for formulation of Bill!!???

  • 12
    0

    It’s all talk and in practice it’s the “same old same old”, since the very beginning.

    Time to introduce time limits and age limits and equal representation of both sexes to elected office in a new constitution to get rid of the culture of impunity and politicians with decaying brains who are basically the cause of the ongoing hopeless state of the country. Thankfully the country is blessed with bright young people capable of replacing the fuddy daddies, in spite of the recent exodus, if given the opportunity.

  • 20
    0

    Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena’s picture adorning the article on respecting the independence of the judiciary.
    I like CT’s black humour.

    • 22
      0

      ASD, I too was thinking on the same lines. Controlling the judiciary by taking away their independence is an age old practice of crooked politicians. Supreme Courts are the only hurdle stopping them from turning into an autocrat. Ex Pak leaders including Imran, tried and now Netanyahu, Modi Governments are up to it.

      • 16
        1

        ASD, few news outlet show a picture of Mahinda, Yapa and Bandula watching a premier movie show on 6 April. Apparently this movie is financed by Bandula. G. If interested check it out. In the picture Bandula seems gloomy, Mahinda nonchalant and Yapa, like a kid watching his first movie in a theater.

      • 5
        16

        “Controlling the judiciary by taking away their independence is an age old practice of crooked politicians.”
        It has been going on in the US through political appointments to the Supreme Court.
        We certainly should learn.

      • 6
        16

        “Ex Pak leaders including Imran, tried… “
        Oh, that was why the citadel of democracy manipulated his ouster by the clean-as-a-whistle politicians in Pakistan’s parliament.
        Wouldn’t it be an interesting thought!

        • 14
          2

          Prof Deadwood back to tangent.

          • 3
            15

            Fusion of language and maths troubles!
            Is it a ding-dong problem or excessive back and knee bending or both?
            Perhaps absolute normalcy.

      • 16
        1

        chiv

        Are you discussing about US Supreme court?
        SJ thinks you are.
        Poor man it appears he has lost all forms of control over his faculties.

        • 5
          1

          Seems like that, poor soul.

          • 13
            0

            Native, Ranil promised victims on Easter anniversary” the legal proceedings are going impartially.”. This is after
            how many years ??? So what we saw upto now with AG , Judiciary, SC , low and odor is SHAM ??? I guess next year too Ranil may come back with same message. Mean time few foreign families have vowed to keep up their struggle in getting justice. Isn’t it Pathetic. Then to see some ignorant discussing unrelated matters adds insult to injustice.

            • 5
              0

              Native, did you hear this story. Today’s news, CID informed additional magistrate of Colombo, their investigations revealed on November 11 2022, an unidentified man (?????) arrived in a WHITE VAN and entered the office of former AG Dappula De Livera’s office at Longdon Place, Colombo 7 and taken away just one file after searching all the files at the office. According to Narehenpitiya Police, CCTV footage shows that suspect had spent ONLY 10 minutes inside office and they still could not identify that man until now. Funny isn’t it. If nothing, Hairdo of the suspect may help in identifying ??? Silly Lanka.

              • 6
                0

                chiv

                Thanks for sharing the most fascinating true story. These things can only happen in Sri Lanka.

                “…. they still could not identify that man until now. “

                Was it a man or woman who violated all the top security arrangement of the government office, or was it third gender?

                Was the person wearing Humphrey Bogart style spy costume, dark suite, white shirt, tie, double breasted vintage Burberry rain coat, Trilby hat, black shoe, ……. carrying an old German Luger pistol, … spy glasses rear view sunglass mirror, …?

                Any chance we can rely on our own Inspector Clouseaus?

        • 0
          0

          Sorry to offend your sentiments by reminding the ball bearer about the US and the fairness of its judicial system.

  • 0
    9

    Britain doesn’t have a (regular) constitution. Why do they need “Latimer House Principles” to court protect Law and order from the House? British Democracy, Constitution and Law and Order (common law) are a termite hill, grow in time higher than Jack’s bean-stock on their own.

  • 5
    1

    “The Associations urge the Government of Sri Lanka to respect the independence of the judiciary by abiding by the said Order of the Supreme Court. “

    It is a funny request for the sake of asking. WE all know how the Judiciary worked over the time since the power moved from one to other. Judiciary is nothing different to Politics or Religion in this country. The Constition, the rule book, Judiciary, Religions are run by thugs and Criminals of this country. Todays murderer tomorrows Head of the Relegion. Todays thief tomorrows finance minister. Just watch and keep silence about what is happening in this country. You know the words of the Head of the country precious. He promoised Full 13 on independence day. He delivered it on time. Now 13 is dead. End of story.

    • 1
      3

      Its all about the fear of God for the God fearing and good conscience for a secular mind yea ?
      Be it Judges , bank governors or religious hats Buddhist , flashy Christian prosperity prophets, or other con men of God. They all have one thing in common with the scheming politician……. the proverbial P.
      Yes the fallen angel too wanted POWER and forgot that the true love of God is sacrifice as on this Good Friday !

    • 1
      1

      Ajith,
      That was never going to happen!! That was a fraudulent claim – HOAX – to bide time and an excuse for every one of us keep quiet and good behaviour until 04/02/2023 comes and goes with ease and he could enjoy watching the FLY PAST in the sanctity of peaceful environment!? He is a HUMBUG of known and unequalled reputation!!!??
      HE WAS TESTING THE ‘WATERS’, WHETHER AND HOW IT WOULD WORK AS AN ‘ELECTION GUNDU’ for impending Presidential Election 2024 and nothing serious!!! Well tested RUSE of RW!!!???
      NOT TO BE TRUSTED ON THAT MATTER!!!

  • 1
    0

    In this particular instance of summoning the Judges who delivered that “Interim Order” before a Parliamentary Committee, I blame the Judicial Service Commission” headed by the Chief Justice.

    If the “Judiciary” on a matter of “PRINCIPLES” thinks and acts in the name of its “INDEPENDENCE” the JSC must decide not to answer that “CALL” and write to the Speaker that it has decided not to allow those judges to attend the meeting of the “Privileges Committee”.

    JSC: Please show your STRENGTH and be EXEMPLARY and preserve your INDEPENDENCE.

  • 3
    1

    why is the IMF giving loans to a country that is tampering with the independence of the judiciary?later on after the money runs out again the lenders will ask the 22 million people to pay,pay and pay.

    • 5
      8

      IMF is not worried about independence of judiciary. It is a loan and to encourage to get more loan from their sources to make this country to depend on their sources and institutions from the west.

      • 3
        11

        A
        I could not have said it better.

      • 7
        2

        Ajith

        “It is a loan and to encourage to get more loan from their sources to make this country to depend on their sources and institutions from the west.”

        Do you know who the IMF’s sources are?

        • 0
          4

          All depositors are sources.
          Who is manager is what matters.

      • 3
        1

        Reality of the matter and well said!! Their interest if at all in good governance,is to ensure that we have and maintain resources for repayment of the money lent and NOT any other motive – for that matter Sri Lankans well-being – certainly NOT!! SELF-INTEREST!!?

    • 4
      1

      shankar

      “later on after the money runs out again the lenders will ask the 22 million people to pay,pay and pay.”

      The politicians and the functionaries are responsible for all their decisions. People should direct all queries/demand notes (Bailiffs) to those who elected (6.9 millions of them ) the crooks to parliament.

      I am worried and want to refrain from naming people, as you know Kamala is suing 3 persons for 1.5 billions.

    • 2
      0

      Shankar,
      22 million are the people who enjoyed the unpayable loans taken by Mahendra Percival in his endeavours to LOOT AND PLUNDER the loan money from lenders for unethical LOAN FUNDING for project with suspect RoI, from unsavoury sources, who wanted to take-over Sri Lankan Real Estate thru’ backdoor, with KIRIBATH AND FIRE CRACKERS much against sensible advise by reknown economists!!!??? So what harm is there to extract from these jokers (22 million) these 22 million the “proverbial pound of Flesh”!??????
      The 6.9 million had the AUDACITY AND CHEEKINESS TO RE-ELECT THEIR MESSIAH AND IN TURN BANKRUPT THE COUNTRY!!??
      Whether the so-called Messiah is a PATRIOT or TRAITOR, will leave it in your hands as you are intelligent enough to discern????
      History, an even BETTER JUDGE, as historians cannot be realistically threatened by these imbecilic MESSIAH’S and more so, alternatively INFLUENED IN THINKING by handing over Rs 5000 (probably not worth even the paper it is printed – definitely SYTHETIC PAPER – expensive for that purpose), ¼ bottle of Gal and Chicken Biryani for lunch enhancing chances of enlightened, belated WISDOM????
      GOD BLESS.

  • 5
    0

    If the judges themselves are appointed by politicians or wìth political influence, how can they be independent?

    • 1
      3

      We need to understand what democracy is. It is not another word for “Whatever that is correct”. It is common sense, whatever is decided by the majority. Democrats think that eventually, in most of the matters, majority decision will turn out to be the right one, but in short run alone, the dictator’s ruling can become tyranny. Though that theory was right in Hitler and many others’ times, but not in few others like Lincoln or Lee Kwan Yew. Because, in most of the time the majority decisions will be right, we moved from monarchy to democracy. That is not guaranteed. Then partiality and corruption come in the talk. Lincoln was partial towards Blacks, so opposed the majority decision. That was considered as right by majority only, long after Lincoln’s death, but not during his time. At the start, the American judges who were appointed by the politicians were accommodating White criminals and failing the justice for Black victims. Over the time, when increasingly the American politics matured, American judges and politicians understood people’s aspirations and politicians corrected the laws and judges delivered more logical judgements. Remember, the laws are made by politicians, so it is no big deal that they appoint the judges to implement them. At this point, partiality is only about the political parties passing the laws and thus downflow to people elected them.

    • 0
      3

      There may be a better way to appoint judges, but that subject is for another day & venue. When we get deeper into the question of partiality, it is passed by politicians to judges during the appointment. It is undeniably true judge chicks show the color of the mother birds, that is the politicians appoint them. Show judges too third generation prodigies of the people, in the democratic political systems. That is why Langkang judges deliver only “Sinhala Jury only Justice.” It was the White Americans’ obligation to fight for Black Americans’ freedom, so it is still in the understanding of American politicians. That is why the one or two George Santos like congresspeople could not reverse the forward moving American politics. Remember what Sampanthan Aiyya said to British politicians, met him, about a years ago? “See what has happened; In 1948, you gave us the same constitution you had; where is your democracy is now and where we are?” These are not anything for the Langkang voters, politicians, and judges. Britain stuck us with excessively matured unitary constitution for us; they implemented to us universal Franchise, which they implemented for then only about a 15 years ago. So, there can be one argument that it was not the British constitution failed us, but we failed it to us.

    • 0
      3

      That is why the IMF loan can only force Langkang go indebted more, but never can make it as an Asian Wonder.

      Partiality is only a wrong decision of the rulers who have too much power and they are self-centered. On the other times, partiality could be an efficient and better decision than a majority decision. Majority decisions tend to be always compromised between multiple parties. When the justice outcome is on question, we do not analyze the “Probability of being wrong,” but outrightly eradicate it. That is a kind of high handedness to create partiality, but that saves the innocents. If our people are matured, but only our politicians are not matured (an impossible scenario), then we must devise a method to take away their authority of appointing the Judges. Anyway, all the laws are going to be enacted by politicians and all are enforced by judges, so the awkwardness of Jar and the Lid situation will be avoided only if the people are matured in their political civilization. Now many republicans are turning against Santos. But Evil, who came to power, without him or any helper selected for him from the party by people, is now creating a wave.

  • 2
    3

    There is a set of triplets, “Anti- Terror, Anti Hate speech and anti-Corruption” the past Yahapalinians are convulsing to put in the womb of the parliament hatch. But because of the unsuitability they kept getting it out and putting them in again and again. The external forces forced them to put it in, but the internal forces supported them to take it back. It is the same drama that has been going on since 2015. 400 thousand rapist army and police on the road. They are provided with every amenity they want. There are 40,000 acres of Tamils’ land in the hands of the Juntas. For the past 13 years, crimes in the country, particularly in the North East, have been on the rise. This assessment is based only on the murders reported in the public media. In murder related rapes too, media reports. But many other forms of rapes, mushrooming middle and misdemeanor crimes do not get reported. Sinhala Fishermen fishing from Dondra to Point Petro. Northern Tamil Fishermen are harassed by everybody, including the Fisheries minister Deva, a well-known paramilitary agent. All over North Eastern shores, Tamils fishermen’s tents, boats and nets were set on fire by Sinhala Fishermen, paramilitary and Rapist Military.

  • 2
    3

    Recently, in Trinco Tamil Fishermen were fishing in a nearby village with mutual agreement with those villagers. The Sinhalese started a riot. Lots of damage sustained by Tamil Fishermen. After two three days, now the Rapist police have come out with a reason for the riot or that is a reason to arrest and prevent Tamils from fishing, released a report that the Tamil fishers were using drag nets & that annoyed Sinhala Fishermen, so they resorted to the riots. So as per rapist police, the guilty ones are not the rioters, but the fishers! Could the government use some of the IMF loan and set up a place where the Sinhalese can take their complaints, instead of rioting repeatedly for the past 75 years? Shameless IMF working with international money criminals but saying that they want Langkang to fight corruption. Can this deaf IMF hear what has been going on with PTA, CTA & ATA bills for the last 40 years? Do they know what is going on with anti-hate speech? Same case with corruption too. During Yahapalanaya time, the director of the Corruption Bureau, Dilrukshi risked herself being arrested and murdered, but nothing happened to the Yahapalanaya or Royal political criminals’ corruption.

  • 2
    4

    Who, the silly IMF is thinking that its new “anti-Corruptions Act of IMF (2022) ” is going to be implemented by? Why is this phony organization indebting the Ceylonese more and more, while feeding the fatty politicians? The government is publicly saying that they are not counting on $2.9 B for their loan burden that is over $70B. They say that if the IMF releases its loan first, then they will roll in another $10B right away. That is very good! Real men are these Sinhala Buddhist Intellectual politicians, but what about the Smarties in the IMF? Who are those smarties thinking about controlling and watching that $10B? Zambia, Gana, Ethiopia like countries is also begging for loans from the IMF. The IMF said they were not given the needed release by China, but only Langkang got it from China so gave loan only to Langkang. After this action and talk, does anybody need any evidence that it is only IMF corruption, the Longkang, before it was prepared to come with an agenda to fix internal crimes and corruptions? Whatever the insincere lies behind these statements, the name “China” alone is this day enough to grant or reject loan application from IMF.

  • 2
    3

    Then, why did not the waves making supporters did not elect Evil, in the first instance. The answer is they are uncivilized, uneducated Modayas, on both occasions, that is when they rejected Evil for Hitler, or when they are creating wave for Evil when Hitler appointed him. The Modayas who thought that they were saving the sovereignty now think that Evil will bring them Rice from IMF, forever. The fate of the Tamils and Sinhalese is the IMF cannot understand the true Langkang political situation.

    • 1
      3

      Paul, I liked this quote:
      “The American people want to believe that the court is fair, that the justices behave ethically, and that their decisions are free from undue political influence.”
      Worshippers of the country that lectures the world on all manner of matters of morality will not let anyone hear a bad word about

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