Sri Lanka Brief
Independence of judiciary

Independence of judiciary

  • SC dismisses petitions against new bill

    Chitra Weerarathne A five-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the three fundamental Rights petitions challenging the Bill and the subsequent Act to acquire private assets which are underproductive, and underutilized.  The Bench ruled that there was no basis to grant leave to proceed with the application.The petitions were filed by the Ven. Thinyawala Palitha […]

  • Sri Lanka’s highest court under fire in parliament

    (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court came under fire in parliament on a debate on an expropriation bill, after the highest court reportedly said it was consistent with the constitution.  The expropriation law came under fire for being deeply flawed and amounting to ad hominem legislation, which is targeted at a specific citizen instead being […]

  • Immunity of the Executive President from Legal Proceedings

     Lakshman Indranath Keerthisinghe Attorney-at-Law The question has often been asked by ordinary citizens: ‘If all persons are equal before the law, why should the Executive President enjoy immunity from legal proceedings under the Constitution?’ An attempt is made in this article to supply an answer to that question without traversing complex legal arguments,The Constitution of Sri […]

  • D-Day Looms For former CJ Sarath N. Silva

    Easwaran RutnamTo say Sarath Nanda Silva was the most controversial Chief Justice ever is an understatement. While most independent institutions in the country were undermined and discredited by successive governments, the Supreme Court managed to maintain its credibility with the people.This was done by judges who stuck to their task of interpreting the law. However, […]

  • TNA MP criticizes SC’s determination of Expropriation Bill

    TNA parliamentarian and Attorney M.A. Sumanthiran says that the manner in which the Supreme Court has determined the Expropriation Bill is a sad indictment on the highest court of the land. Sumanthiran has said in parliament that it was sad to see what the Supreme Court has been reduced to, especially how the court has […]

  • Former CJ On The Mat

    Vimukthi Yapa Seventy six government members of parliament including cabinet ministers and their deputies have signed a motion calling on Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to inquire into and report on the allegations of abuse of power, misconduct and/or misbehavior that have been leveled against Sarath N Silva, former Chief Justice.The […]

  • Probe ( against former CJ) has no legal grounds says former CJ

    The attempt to investigate the former Chief Justice (CJ) has no legal basis say Sarath N. De Silva, former chief justice. Media reports say, the speaker had decided to appoint a parliamentary select committee to conduct an official investigation in to alleged abuse of power during De Silva’s tenure as Chief Justice. “I have left […]

  • Stop submitting ‘irrelevant’ evidence

    A court in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, has ordered the police to prevent submitting ‘irrelevant’ evidence with regard to the killing of a presidential advisor. The Colombo magistrate’s court made the order to police criminal investigation division (CID) as the lawyers representing Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others made an objection against police providing […]

  • No Sign Of Progress In Sight -Lasantha Wickrematunge Murder Investigation

    Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,” US President Barrack Obama during his inauguration speech in 2009. Over two and a half years later, the murder investigation on The Sunday Leader Founding Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge has […]

  • TNA MPs rights application dismissed

    Chitra Weerarathne The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the fundamental rights violation application, filed by TNA Member of Parliament for the Jaffna District Mavai S. Senathirajah, against the recently gazetted Prevention of Terrorism Act Regulations.Senathirajah challenged the regulations pertaining to the Extension of Application, surrendees care and also the Regulation pertaining to detainees and remandees. The Court said […]

  • Businessman’s FR petition against unlawful arrest, torture hearing on Nov.1

    A fundamental rights (FR) petition filed by a businessman, against his unlawful arrest and torture by the Kadawatha Police, on suspicion of theft, was listed for hearing on November 1.Petitioner Suriyaarachchige Lakshman de Silva and his wife B.M. Ajantha Weerasunghe cited Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Chaminda, OIC Crimes Division Viraj, Sgt. Dissanayake, Crimes Division PC Ratnayaka, all […]

  • Petitions against Army, Police pile up in Jaffna – Grease Yaka Phenomenon

    S.S. Selvanayagam The Supreme Court was inundated with another set of 30 rights violation petitions in addition to the earlier 22 petitions in respect of the alleged ensuing reprisals on the residents by military and police at Navanthurai, Jaffna in the aftermath of the ‘Grease Devil’ phenomenon.When these petitions filed through Attorney-at-Law S.M.M. Samsudeen were […]

  • BASL wants action against cop violence inside court complex

    The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday demanded an impartial inquiry into an alleged attack by police in the Jaffna Courts complex last Monday (19).A senior spokesperson for the BASL told The Island that those responsible should be brought to justice without delay. The BASL threw its weight behind members of the legal profession […]

  • Jaffna lawyers boycott court sittings

    Lawyers in Jaffna had taken a decision to boycott the sittings of the Courts of Law in the District until such time action was taken to arrest the seven policemen who had allegedly harassed a person who they say was illegally arrested by the police. They made this decision at a meeting held at the […]

  • UK Sets Deadline For Sri Lanka

     Easwaran RutnamThe British government has set a deadline for Sri Lanka to show progress in addressing  concerns of human rights violations committed during the war. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has told the British Foreign Affairs Committee that Sri Lanka has been told it needs to show progress by the end of this year or […]

  • Fonseka’s conviction lacked material – Counsel

    Appeal against CM II conviction and sentence Chitra WeerarathneThe convictions of General Fonseka, by the Court Martial II, were not affirmed by the convening Authority, the President. Hence, there cannot be a consequential sentence, said Romesh de Silva PC, in the Court of Appeal yesterday.Counsel, de Silva, appearing for Fonseka, requested the Court to quash the […]

  • Sri Lanka says Amnesty war probe allegations ‘interference’

    Sri Lanka said Saturday that Amnesty International comments on the island’s probe into its military victory over Tamil rebels, were an “interference” in the country’s sovereignty.Amnesty International on Wednesday said Sri Lanka’s inquiry panel was “flawed at every level” and no substitute for an international war crimes investigation. The human rights watchdog issued a 69-page […]

  • Sri Lanka should meet benchmarks prior to commonwealth games

    At the 2009 CHOGM, Sri Lanka’s candidature for hosting the meeting was deferred from 2011 to 2013 because of concerns about human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government. While war-time abuses have ended, the situation in Sri Lanka continues to be characterised by serious human rights violations, including assault on democratic institutions, such as […]

  • What earthly reason is there to fault me? – Sarath N Silva former CJ

    I write in reference to the article bearing ‘Ex-CJ should be aware of agreements signed’ published in The Daily Mirror of August 31st, by Minister S. B. Dissanayake, to an interview given by me and published as an “opinion” in your newspaper of 22-08-2011.The response alleges that I am ignorant of, “…….three agreements signed by […]

  • PSC can’t probe my actions: Ex- CJ

    “I retired 2 years ago; I am a free citizen now”L.B.SenaratneFormer Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said he could not be brought before a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) as he retired from service two years ago and that the President himself had given him a letter of commendation for his distinguished service in the Judiciary […]

  • Retired Judges complain to MR; Former CJ to face probe

    Sandun A. Jayasekera In a shocking turn of events, the government is planning to appoint a parliamentary select committee soon to probe the conduct of former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, based on complaints made by a group of retired judges to President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday.  These retired judges met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple […]

  • int’l pressure on sl unreasonable: Govt

    Dianne Silva The government said yesterday it was “unreasonable” for the international community to expect it to complete processes in a post-conflict situation, which have taken other countries in similar situations, many years to accomplish.“For example Spain, Cambodia and Bangladesh took many years and in some cases almost half a century to achieve standards that […]


    Gradual erosion of judicial independence in Sri Lanka concerns IBAHRI The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is concerned about the increasing erosion of judicial independence in Sri Lanka. In a confidential letter, dated 19 May 2011, the IBAHRI outlined its concerns to the Government of Sri Lanka in regard to the 18th Amendment […]

  • A new Chief Justice for the dying judiciary of Sri Lanka

    May 19, 2011/Basil FernandoCJ wearing the same colour of Presidents Satakaya! The appointment of the first lady Chief Justice would normally have been a day for great celebrations. However, in the context of the attack on the Sri Lankan judiciary since the adoption of the 1978 Constitution such a celebration would belie the actual situation […]

  • 19th amendment an interference in Judiciary: EX CJ

    07 May 2011 00:00By Susitha R. Fernando Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva yesterday warned that the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution was a serious interference by the President in the independence of the judiciary. He said if the proposed Amendment was introduced it would allow the President to limit the term of office […]

  • Can the state law office deny the right to justice?

    By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Very few thinking people in Sri Lanka will assert in all good conscience that the office of the Attorney General has been free from political controversy as a matter of historical fact. That last rider is important lest it should be thought by a misguided few that all the evil began […]

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