20 April, 2019

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Law Council Australia Condemns Sri Lanka’s Worsening Rule Of Law

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has joined a chorus of criticism directed at the Sri Lankan government over the state of the rule of law in the country.

LCA president Michael Colbran QC said he was particularly concerned by reports of threats and intimidation directed at members of the legal profession and judiciary in Sri Lanka.

Michael Colbran QC

Michael Colbran QC

He singled out the impeachment of the former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka in January, claiming the dismissal did not appear to comply with the principles of natural justice.

“An independent legal profession and judiciary is an essential component of the rule of law,” he said.

Earlier this month, authorities revoked the visas of three human rights experts speaking at a conference co-hosted by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and International Bar Association Human Right’s Institute (IBAHRI). The event coincided with Sri Lanka’s hosting of this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

One of the speakers whose visa was revoked, Gabriela Knaul, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, said she had serious concerns about acts of reprisals against judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other members of the judicial system who cooperate with UN and regional human rights mechanisms.

“Reprisals against judicial actors and legal professionals are a kind of attack to their institutional and functional independence,” she added.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) also highlighted Sri Lanka’s disregard for international standards in an open letter signed by 56 eminent jurists and senior judges from around the world. The letter also raised concerns about the independence of the judiciary and the removal of judges.

Colbran has called on the Australian Government to continue to address these matters with the government of Sri Lanka.

However, Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena, a Sri Lankan lawyer and legal columnist for Colombo’s Sunday Times, is unimpressed by the Australian Government’s efforts so far. She slammed recent remarks by Prime Minister Tony Abbott as “deplorably simplistic” and showing a lack of understanding regarding the problem of impunity that Sri Lanka faces.

lawyersweekly.com.au

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    His prime minister thinks else wise !

  • 1
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    where the eff were u and ur so called Legal Eagles when BOAT loads of refugees ONLY from SL were deported back? Is THIS NOT SELECTIVE PUNISHMENT ?

    CAMBODIANS, BURMESE,VIETNAMESE, AFGHANS,PAKISTANIS and others DONT GET DEPORTED why?

    I KNOW MOST ARE ECONOMIC REFUGEES, BUT OTHER NATIONALS DONT GET DEPORTED, WHICH TO ME IS INSANE…

    • 0
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      Excellent point for the law society to consider.

      • 0
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        It seems that the world is ruled by hypocrites!

        • 0
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          stinkers

  • 2
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    Days ahead of us many from outside world will bring this kind of clear statements awakening our dictators. Today, this is the second remarks I read about SRILANKEN administration. Now the CHOGM advert seems to be showing its results.

    Where there is NO rule of law – there cant be have proper systems. Everything will be falling like as if one made castles on the sand.

    These buggers should finally listen to their conscience, if they have a little brain.

  • 2
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    Michael Colbran, QC: You have missed one point. Have you not noticed the “TWO TIER” system that is in place in producing the Legal Professionals from the Law College. If you did not know that, here how it works: (1) The candidates who are “offspring” of Rulers of the country and such others who mange the Law College are provided with electronic devises and all such other prohibited gadgetry and accommodated in air-conditioned comforts, so they could finish answering the question paper designed to finish in three hours in “forty five minutes” and pass the examination with 80 – 90% marks. (2) The other set of candidates are “strictly prohibited” from using the electronic gadgetry and accommodated in a common sitting hall to answer the examination paper under strict supervision and the answer scripts are given marks on evaluation of the answers.

    The candidates who pass through Tire (1) (no failures in this category)either rule the country and or are given high ranking jobs in the Legal and other related professional fields. So do you expect these “Fake Legal Luminaries” to honor Rule of Law?

    So please consider this aspect of the Legal system too in your evaluations as far as Sri Lanka is concerned, because it is what is going to be the FUTURE. Thank you.

    • 1
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      This two-tier “home grown” chintanaya is fully backed by the current
      BASL is a point to note. Very important to them.

  • 1
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    Rule of law is for the white man. In Siri Lanka it never existed. I remember Justice Pathirana. Whenever a schoolboy thought that there was a hora umpire, he would shout Ado Pathirana. This was in the 1960s. The rot had started then. Such was the respect for judges of the Supreme Court. Rajapakse only continues it. Why cry for Madam the ex CJ. When she was appointed no one thought, she should be on the Supreme Court. No credentials. She toed the line and was booted out when she did not. Her predecessor was a Chief Joker to Chandirka and her successor the Court Jester to King Rajapakse. There were people like Mark Fernando, a true and only scholar-judge in recent times after Justice Weeramantry but they were the rare ones. Fernando’s house was stoned. Victor Tennekoon was disgraced by the great paragon of human rights, Nihal. It was a slow slide . Rajapakse has only hastened it. Good bye Rule of Law.

    • 2
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      Kabaragoya

      The School boys in 60 shouted instead of Hora Umpire Ado Pathirana. That was the Time MR was at Thurstan as a School boy.

      He was well and truly given lesson on survival.

      So he decided to play games without umpire, judge or referee in 2009. Naturally he was declared winner in all aspects of the Game.

      Captain of the opposing team was bribed to assist him to become the Captain of the opposing team.

      When the time was ripe play his game he played without without the rule book.

      Unfortunately for him a new unknown factor came to play. The Third Umpire. The electronic media. firstly in the form of aerial surveillance from Satellite and then the other players in his own team used their cell phones for their protection and sold the clippings.

      Sri Lankan then Started sowing wild oats an the Sri Lankans today are reaping the Harvest.

      ” You Sow wind and reap Whirlwind”
      AMEN

    • 1
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      Kabaragoya, as far as I know, Shirani Bandaranaike has a doctorate in Law from Cambridge…..what more credentials do you want ? !

      • 1
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        Nuwan, PhDs are a dime a dozen these days. S. did not go to Cambridge. She went to the SOAS in London. I am not belittling but one must get the facts right.They are in Wikipedia. Easy to find.

        Her appointment, as Wikipedia states, was controversial. She had little by way of practice. She was an academic. No academic had been appointed previously to the bench. She was appointed by GL Pieris who was never admitted to the bar but was Minister for Justice. He was Dean at Colombo and was succeeded by Shirani. Pieris was known to be a plagiarist in academic circles. So,there are problems here. I am not alleging anything as Pieris was not that way inclined.

        The point I was making that the rot relating to the rule of law had started long ago. Rajapakse was magnifying it. The role of Pieris, the chief defender in the rot, is worth study. Hope you will look into this Nuwan.

  • 1
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    any thing wrong in Australia? the prime minister is proud of being Srilankas friend while the Law council condemns Srilanak? I am very upset why the Srilanka has not yet bought the law council?

  • 0
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    Sinhalayo [Edited out]… Useless of wrting againts these buggers .

    • 0
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      you said it !

  • 0
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    It is high time Abbot to take a lesson from his Sri Lankan counter part and learn how to tame the lawyers in Australia and even Law Council or even CJ of Australia. After that every thing is so simple. Perhaps an Australian Citizen one KOHA can provide the necessary which he has learned from Sri Lanka to do this task.

    • 0
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      It should be KOHA CAN provide necessary advise which he has learned from Sri Lanka to do this task.

  • 0
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    Good on you Australian Law Council. All you have to do now is to ensure Australian aboriginals see a bit of justice. They are imprisoned for minor offences, beaten up by police for no reason, have lower life expectancy than white Australians, lower incomes, lower literacy rates. Please draw up a plan to bring the suffering of aboriginals to an end. How about by March 2014, the dead line the Cameron guy has given to Sri Lanka?

    • 0
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      Hey Lal,
      It is good to feel empathetically about aboriginal people in Australia. How about feel empathetically about your mothers and sisters who work long years in ME leaving their young and loved children at home, these women do this for you in the last 30~35 years. You buy TV , tin fish, Bombay onion from this foreign exchange….
      Or how about feeling empathetically about your Tamil mothers and sisters who were plucking tea leaves in last 150 years, they put your country in world geography, and this tea is still the second biggest foreign exchange earner to your home country after Sinhalese mothers in ME.
      Isn’t it better to focus on your own mothers before distinct parents in Australia??

      • 0
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        Tell that to Aus Law Council to be empathetic towards their own people. I agree fully with you on the plight of sending our women to the Middle East. This should phased out. Also the plight of the Indian Tamils, which you should have been raised with Cameron fellow when he visited Sri Lanka. After all, it was the English who brought them to Sri Lanka without the consent of Sinhala people, abused them. They were made to live like animals, the women were routinely raped by English planters. The English are responsible for that and I think it is best to hammer out a repatriation package for them to return to their homeland in Tamil Nadu, with the English government.

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