[Upul Jayasuriya (centre) addressing the media. Pic by Indika Handuwala]
Concerned over the possible new appointment, following the retirement of the current Attorney General (AG), the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) highlighted the need to appoint an impartial and independent person to the post. BASL President, Upul Jayasuriya stressed on giving due consideration to merit and seniority of the service in the AG’s Department when the appointment is made.
Speaking at a press conference, he highlighted that the BASL has noted how a number of appointments to high office within the Judiciary has been made without due consideration to qualifications and merit.
The BASL on Friday adopted a resolution at a special committee meeting to represent their concerns to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, regarding the recent appointments to some of the superior courts. In a statement, the BASL recommends that the selection criteria in the appointment of individuals to the superior courts, requires “strict adherence to transparently clear qualification of merit and seniority, and that, only persons with unblemished professional and personal records should be appointed”
The BASL highlighted that, “the members of the Legal Profession in Sri Lanka are gravely concerned and disturbed by some of the appointments to the superior courts, which do not appear to have been made in accordance with salutary and time honoured criteria of merit and seniority, and impeccable record of integrity, while being of unimpeachable character.”
The BASL also recorded their concern over non-appointment and non-promotion of judges who have “clearly satisfied all these criteria and are highly respected by the legal profession for their independence and impartiality.”
Emphasising that both the Government and the Opposition should work towards maintaining the aforementioned standards, the BASL urged President Rajapaksa to duly consider and act upon the recommendation made by the BASL on the appointments of judges to Superior Courts.
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