The two eminent Commonwealth Jurists, whose opinion was sought by the Commonwealth Secretariat on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s removal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake has found that her impeachment was flawed and a direct violation of Commonwealth Values and the process undertaken to remove the CJ did not comply with the Constitution and was unlawful, Colombo Telegraph can exclusively reveal today.
On August 15, Colombo Telegraph exclusively revealed that the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma who had commissioned two key legal opinions from eminent Commonwealth Jurists on the Sri Lankan Government’s impeachment of its Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake had decided to withhold the findings of those reports from the rest of the organisation.
Sharma refused to disclose the findings, even to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, the Commonwealth’s organ to measure state compliance with the organisation’s core values and principles. Queried on the topic by the Canadian High Commission in UK, Sharma responded that some matters were ‘privileged’ communications to his office.
Again, on September 9, 2013 Colombo Telegraph exclusively revealed the legal opinion sought and then buried by the Secretary General’s Office. Justice P.N. Langa, former Chief Justice of South Africa and respected jurist, concludes that the Rajapaksa Government’s decision to disregard the Supreme Court Ruling on the impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake was unconstitutional and said it was “sowing the seeds of anarchy.”
Today we can reveal the other report by the UK Jurist Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell, Q.C.,one of Britain’s best-known academics, had been at work drafting amendments to ensure safeguards to the Crime and Security Bill, Emeritus Professor of Public Law and Dean of the Faculty of Law, University College London, which concludes that removing Chief Justice Bandaranayake was unconstitutional.
We publish below the full report of the Q.C. Sir Jeffrey Jowell report. Read the page 26 for his conclusions;