29 May, 2022


Lawyers Collective Calls For Transparent Appointment Process For Judges On Death Of Senior Judge

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.

Justice Sriskandarajah

Justice Sriskandarajah

“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.

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Judges to get free laptops and interest free car loans?

  • 2

    Who are this collective group. What irrelevant statements this group made now, by inviting public to campaign against the oppressive rule and demanding people to agitate for independence of judiciary that is obviously undermined in this country. This something this group or the BASL should have been should have initiated not the public.

    This so-called collective group has proved to the people of this county that they are spineless group of people with no integrity and commitment and in my view this group should accept full responsibility for wilful degrading of the Judiciary by the Execuve President.

    In my view the Justice Bandaranayake is not a angel. When she was in the good books of the President she betrayed the trust placed in the Judiciary by the people when the Bench presided by her blindly approved the 18th amendment without directing the Executive President to go before public by way of a referendum and ask for a mandate for a third term. The people with common sense honestly believe that approval of the 18th Amendment is a big blunder that gave sweeping powers to the Execitive President by the bill over the other organs of the government, specially the Judiciary.

    Still the removal of the CJ, by unlawful means, would have been saved had the private bar taken the right decision at right time, particularly when the Judicial Service Association made a public statement that it would stand by any decision taken by the private bar.

    Instead of opting for declaring ‘ 2 days holiday’ had the private bar, followed the decisive and effective step taken by the the lawyers in Pakistan (stoppage of work until the CJ is restored in office when Musharaf forcibly removed the CJ Chaudhry from office), the Executive President’s attempts undermine the Judiciary would not have been a failure.

    I’m very sorry to say this, but in my view, Justice Skandarajah too lost the confidence placed in him by the people as he lost his patience. It is true that Execitive President denied him his right to the promotion particularly after CA declared the finding of the PSC invalid and quashed it. As a result junior judges given promotion to the Supreme Court the whims and fancies of the Execitive President, thanks to the overwhelming powers given by Justice Bandaranayake. And as a result Justice Sri Skandharajah lost his integrity. And hoping that the President would be more accommodative towards him, he made a big blunder in London when the issue of removal of the CJ was taken up before the Commonwealth judges conference and announced his objections for irrelevant reasons. Still The President Ignored him when the next vacancy came, which was filled with another person from the AG’s Department.

    Truth is bitter to digest, but we should not deny the people of their right to know the truth. After all Judiciary is exersicing peoples’ Judicial Power.

    • 0

      The BAR Association in our country sadly had neither the foresight,mettle or vibrancy like the one in Pakistan to protect the erosion of it’s integrity.
      It obligingly and obediently colluded with the executive giving full approval for undermining the principles of natural justice when the 18th Amendment was brought in parliament.
      The consequence of that is the erosion of the principles of natural justice that is now taking place currently to legitimize the illegitimate.The arbitrary manner in which appointments are made to the higher judiciary is a case in point.

  • 5

    In this instance I must agree with the President Rajapakse. President wanted a “CHEAP JUSICE” similar to one we have today. President Rajapakse could not tolerate a “CHIEF JUSTICE” who will be like Shirani, so he did not appoint Justice Sriskandarajah. I must give this to the President. What a stupid President we have. May be he is a CHEAP PRESIDENT!

  • 0

    Let these lawyers first clear the backlog of 65,000 cases clogging the justice system by not allowing postponement of cases any more.
    This will be justice to all citizens.
    Let them insist on judges commencing hearings at 8am till 5pm like all public servants.
    A former supreme court judge famously said “Lawyers live on dates – just like the Arabs”.

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