The Lawyers Collective in mourning the death of Court of Appeal President Justice Sriskandarajah has urged a transparent appoitnment process for judges. Issuing a statement about the illustrious judge’s death after a brief illness, Lawyers Collective Convenor said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had overlooked Justice Sriskandarajah continuously on four occasions preventing him from reaching the highest court as a judge in his lifetime.
“After the 18th Amendment to the Constitution by the present Government, there are no disclosed criteria in respect of appointments to higher courts and therefore, the President is free to appoint any one of his choice as a judge, without any scrutiny whatsoever,” the Collective said in its statement.
The Lawyers Collective said the death of Justice S. Sriskandarajah emphasizes the importance of securing a transparent appointment process of judges, whose career is protected against political victimizations. “This is also a reminder to the country that judges are also subject to same type of discriminatory treatment as others, unless major constitutional changes are brought in. The Lawyers Collective urges the public to agitate for the introduction of transparent process of judicial appointments, consistent with international practices so that judges who deliver judgments independently and fearlessly will not be deprived of their due positions in the higher judiciary,” the statement added.
It said judicial judicial independence will ultimately protect the people themselves against all types of oppression of the Rulers.
The Appeals Court President was appointed to appointed President of the Court of Appeal in 2011 after serving as a judge of the High Court and then as a judge of the Court of Appeal. He delivered a large number of landmark judgments, exercising power under Writ Jurisdiction, during a crucial time of our judicial history. Among them was the judgment, where a bench of 3 judges presided over by him, quashing the decision of the Parliamentary Select Committee to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, the Collective said.