Lankapage Logo Recent Top Stories
Go Home Home Serving the Sri Lankan community globally since 2000
go to

Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* UN expert concerned over intimidation of judges in Sri Lanka, urges reconsideration of Chief Justice impeachment
Wed, Nov 14, 2012, 10:55 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 14, Geneva: A United Nations expert today expressed serious concerns over the intimidation and attacks against Sri Lanka's judges and urged the Sri Lankan government to reconsider the impeachment of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, in a statement today expressed serious concerns about reported intimidation and attacks against judges and judicial officers, and warned that they might form part of a pattern of attacks, threats reprisals and interference in the independence of the justice system in Sri Lanka.

"I urge the Sri Lanka Government to take immediate and adequate measures to ensure the physical and mental integrity of members of the judiciary and to allow them to perform their professional duties without any restrictions, improper influences, pressures, threats or interferences, in line with the country’s international human rights obligations," Ms. Knaul said in her statement.

Most cases of attacks and interference against the judiciary in Sri Lanka are not genuinely investigated, and perpetrators are not held to account, reports received by the independent human rights expert had attested.

Ms. Knaul expressed her apprehension with the procedure launched in the Sri Lankan parliament to impeach the Chief Justice on 1 November 2012.

A parliamentary select committee comprising 11 lawmakers both from the government and opposition appointed to hear the charges against the Chief Justice commenced its investigation today (November 14).

The Special Rapporteur in her statement underscored that irremovability of judges as one of the main pillars guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary and said only in exceptional circumstances may this principle be transgressed.

"Judges may be dismissed only on serious grounds of misconduct or incompetence, after a procedure that complies with due process and fair trial guarantees and that also provides for an independent review of the decision," she stressed. "The misuse of disciplinary proceedings as a reprisals mechanism against independent judges is unacceptable."

In her view, the procedure for the removal of judges of the Supreme Court set out in article 107 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka allows the Parliament to exercise considerable control over the judiciary and is therefore incompatible with both the principle of separation of power and article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"I urge the authorities to reconsider the impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and ensure that any disciplinary procedure that she might have to undergo is in full compliance with the fundamental principles of due process and fair trial," the UN Special Rapporteur added.

ColomboPage - Recent 10 Stories
Sri Lankan government to abolish the minimum room rates imposed on city hotels from March 2017
-- [3 minutes ago]
Sri Lanka needs a new Constitution since the war ended - PM
-- [21 minutes ago]
Sri Lanka Marxist party says 2017 budget is an 'empty shell'
-- [1 hour and 3 minutes ago]
Meeriyabedda landslide displaced families get 75 new Army-built houses
-- [1 hour and 43 minutes ago]
Price reduced drugs through Osusala from today
-- [2 hours ago]
Three missing Sri Lankan fishermen stranded in Dhanushkodi
No room in the country for conflicts based on languages - President
Sri Lankan sailor found dead in ship at Dhamra port in Odisha
Rangana Herath to captain Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe
Indian Foreign secretary, Sri Lankan President discuss economic cooperation

Copyright © 2000, 2012 by (LLC) :
The news and other contents on ColomboPage are copyrighted property of, LLC. Any unauthorized use of any information on ColomboPage may constitute a violation of copyright laws. You need written permission to reproduce, republish, post, transmit, broadcast or distribute, material from this site from, LLC. However, news organizations or broadcasters in Sri Lanka may republish the news items in ColomboPage with proper acknowledgment to ColomboPage.