22 June, 2021

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Impeachment: Esure Firness And Latimer House Principles Says Commonwealth Lawyers, Magistrates And Judges

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) and the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) are concerned about the recent motion in the Sri Lankan Parliament to proceed with the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

Chief Justice Bandaranayake

The existence of an independent and impartial judiciary is one of the cardinal features of any country governed by the rule of law. By virtue of its membership of the Commonwealth, Sri Lanka is committed to the shared fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth, at the core of which is a shared belief in, and adherence to, democratic principles including an independent and impartial judiciary. Any measure on the part of the Executive or Legislature which is capable of being seen as eroding the independence and impartiality of the judiciary is a matter of serious concern and is in danger of eroding public confidence in the legal system as a whole.

The Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government (2003), which form part of the Commonwealth fundamental values state that disciplinary proceedings which might lead to the removal of a judicial officer should include appropriate safeguards to ensure fairness’ that is to say, the right to be fully informed of the charges against them, to be represented at a hearing, to make a full defence and to be judged by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Furthermore tthese Principles require that judges should be subject to suspension or removal only for reasons of incapacity or misbehaviour that clearly  renders them unfit to discharge their duties. The Associations urge upon the Government and Parliament of Sri Lanka to respect the independence of the judiciary and in particular to comply with its constitutional safeguards and the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles which, as the Commonwealth Secretary General emphasised in his statement of 15 November 2012, ‘govern the relationship between the three branches of government and are a cornerstone of our Association’s values.’

Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA)

Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA)

Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA)

19 November 2012

 

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Latest comments

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    Since of late in a nation like Sri Lanka where

    “one is guilty until proven not guilty”

    because the accused does not have the moneyto buy them all inclusive of the judge if necessary or political connections

    the statement at present made by CLA; CLEA; CMJA; is just another joke.

    This is exactly what happens in China. So where is S. L. the next venue of Communwealth Heads Meeting heading? Like ChiCom will it be SriCom la la.

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      The Commonwealth Organization should put its money where its mouth is.
      If it supports human rights, democracy and the rule of law and does NOT support dictatorship, it has ONLY ONE OPTION – move the heads of State meeting in 2013, to another country and boycott the Rajapakse dictatorship in Sri Lanka.

      The Commonwealth organization, in any case has a reputation for being a club of banana republic style post-colonies – headed by a former imperial power which has become a riot ridden third world country called England! The decline and provincialization of Britain (and Europe), and its allies is clear in how the Rajapaksa dictatorship manipulates the CO!

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      The PSC is unconstitutional and a Kangaroo Court, full of the unethical politicians from both sides of the house.

      The god awful and shameless Ranil Wickramasinghe should go on the streets and tell this to the people of Lanka that their CJ is being tried by a Kangaroo Court appointed by a dictator rather than hiding his shameless face behind legalese and rushing to appoint UNP representatives to the Kangaroo court.
      RW pretends to be knowledgeable about the law, but could not even make the basic objection that the PSC to investigate the CJ is UNCONSTITUTIONAL in the house or on the streets – the guy and his silly wife who claims to be a feminist should be thrown out of the country!

    • 0
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      All trade unions should come together to protest and march against corruption, impeachment of the CJ by the political thugs who run the country, rising cost of living, low wages and for REGIME CHANGE..
      Time for the WORKERS and WORKING CLASS OF LANKA to unite and ensure REGIME CHANGE!

  • 0
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    If the CJ is impeached, the Commonwealth Heads meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in Hambantota must be moved to another country. If many countries support such a move, the MR regime will back track on the impeachment. It will be a big loss of face for MR if this happens. Commonwealth countries must help the Sri Lankan people by telling MR in no uncertain terms that the CHOGM meeting will have to be moved unless the impeachment is dropped.

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    The Court of Appeal hearing the writ applications seeking to prohibit the appointed members of the PSC to probe the impeachment of CJ, has referred same to the Supreme Court. The CA now awaits the SC’s constitutional interpretation of article 107(3) of the constitution on the procedure to be adopted on the impreachment of a judge.
    Hopefully this drama should end soon.
    Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere (Martin Luther King, Jr.).

  • 0
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    None disagree; ‘the existence of an independent and impartial judiciary’ is a must.

    Singapore declaration of Fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth in 1971 says; the Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of independent sovereign states, each responsible for its own policies, consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding and world ‘peace’.

    No point going into discussions of earlier declarations of the Commonwealth nations for those nations and their agenda were anything but democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace, then.

    However, the fact that the UK joined the US to flout ‘peace’ in Iraq on bogus charges long afterwards have to be discussed with this subject for it’s a question of morality of the pioneer nations of the commonwealth that accuse Sri Lanka on various pretexts.

    Current constitution of Sri Lanka has been in force since 1978. All the commonwealth nations have accepted that Sri Lanka is an independent sovereign state. If that is so, the only question outsiders can ask in my opinion is, whether impeachment of CJ is constitutional or not.

    Our constitution gave people the right to elect the executive, and the legislature. And legislature or MPs make laws and standing orders. And Judges can only interpret those laws and give judgments. In other words, through parliament, the people gave judges the authority to judge.

    Now, judges are not Gods. They also do wrongs just like the executive and MPs. Who would judge the judges punish them, if they become corrupt, demeanours and/or interpret laws wrong? It has to be the people for it is they who gave judges power to judge in the first place and above all people are sovereign in the end. Surely, NGOs or their pay masters, the so-called IC or Commonwealth are not representatives of people of Sri Lanka. It is the legislature and MPs that represent people in the end.

    Anyway, it’s a good move that Ven. Sobitha Thera called those MP who signed the petition with a list of CJ’s wrongs to include illegal earnings to reveal their own assets. However, Ven Thero should careful of the sinister motives of some wily elements masquerading as his fellow campaigners. We remember some of them were the same who lured SF into politics but ditched him after using him in their political ploys.
    Leela

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    Rajapakse,s are all out to bulldoze anyone who is pointing out rightful thinking toward good governance.Media has been bought over and the journalist have been bribed by doling out laptops and Rs 120,000 interest free loans at taxpayers expense.Regime is not all worried about the fall out from disgraceful impeachment motion.To ad insult to the injury Weerawansa who is 8th grade school dropout without a school leaving certificate have been appointed to PSC to investigate the charges against The CJ who is a brilliant scholar and a reputed academic.
    Keep the patriotic flag flying (only straw to hang for family survival) regime will go head bulldozing, Latimar House convention,CLA; CLEA; CMJA.Regime will hang on to China, Swaziland,Uganda and Kazakhstan for familial rule for their future.

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    The right thinking people of Sri Lanka are grateful to the CLA, CLEA and the CMJA for voicing their concern over the attempt to impeach the CJ which is clearly a vindictive act.Of course, Sri Lanka is committed to the shared fundamental values and the principles of the Commonwealth. Although this regime is rearing to host the next CHOGM, they do not care twopence for the Commonwealth principles that underpin democratic governance. Now a set of `patriotic’ donkeys’ will start braying that the CLA, CLEA and CMJA are interfering in the internal affairs of the country, their statement is an assault on the soverienty of the people here and these three organizations too have joined the international conspirators against Sri Lanka backed by the LTTE! )Please don’t mind them They are sycophants of the regime singing for their supper!

    Ladies and gentlemen of the three prestigious associations, our country is no longer a democracy and there is rule of the law reigning supreme here as in your countries. Dissidents here are usually branded as `traitors’ and are white-vanned and eventually sent to the land of no return.Opposition MPs and journalists have been killed in broad day light in high security zones, and their assailants are yet to be arrested. Even the Secretary to the JSC, a former High Court judge escaped being abducted,but he was battered by the goons before making their getaway and they are yet to be arrested. As there is no rule of the law in the country, the regime seems to have decided that there is no need for an independent and impartial judiciary either. Thank you again, ladies and gentlemen for your solidarity with our people at this grave hour of the nation!

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      Saman,

      I AM SO HAPPY that atleast few of this forum have the same thoughts as mine.

      Contents of your comment is littery the truth about the prevailing appalling situation in the country today.

      I REALLY wonder why Leela and the sort of folks seem to be far from understanding the gravity of the situation.

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    I agree with sandyap. The only way that to prevent the impeachment of the CJ is to threaten MR that the venue of the commenwealth heads meeting[CHOGM] will be shifted from hambantota to another venue.Only pure and simple blackmail will work for this tinpot dictator.

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