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ICJ, condemns impeachment of Chief Justice

2013-01-11 16:19:05
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The International Commission of Jurists ICJ condemned the decision of Sri Lanka’s parliament today to impeach the country’s Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake

In  statement the International Commission of Jurists said that the motion has thrown into chaos the entire system of checks and balances in the country.

“Parliament’s impeachment motion has defied the rulings of the country’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and thus thrown into chaos the entire system of checks and balances in the country,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Asia-Pacific director.

“Sri Lanka’s parliament and executive have effectively decapitated the country’s judiciary in pursuit of short term political gain. As an immediate matter, this has precipitated a legal and constitutional crisis of unprecedented dimensions; but just as worrying are the consequences of this action, which severely erodes accountability and the rule of law in a country already suffering from decades of impunity.”

The impeachment decision now goes to President Mahinda Rajapakse, who precipitated this crisis initially. Under Article 107 of the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka, a Chief Justice can only be removed by an order of the President after a motion supporting the removal is passed by a simple majority of Parliamentarians.

The impeachment process against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake has been widely criticized for ignoring international standards and practice. On 6 December 2012, the Chief Justice and her team of lawyers walked out of the impeachment hearing in protest over the denial of a fair hearing. On 1 January 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the impeachment procedure in Parliament was not constitutionally valid, finding that such procedures could only be established ‘by law’ enacted by Parliament.

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has publically vowed that it will not welcome a new Chief Justice and the Lawyers Collective has called on the Supreme Court and the superior judiciary to not recognize the newly appointed Chief Justice.

“President Rajapakse should refuse to appoint a new Chief Justice, and instead call on Parliament to enact a new law – through a transparent and democratic process – to govern the impeachment process. Any such law must comport with international standards on judicial independence and guarantees of due process and fair trial,” Zarifi added.


  Comments - 13

  • upul Saturday, 12 January 2013 01:54

    Thanks to UNP to help government to decapitate the judiciary.

    Reply : 3       5

    Lucky Weeramantry Saturday, 12 January 2013 02:45

    Hope The President Will Do The Right Thing, For Sake Of The Country. Don;t Think Of Politics At This Hour.

    Reply : 2       8

    Kiwi Saturday, 12 January 2013 05:30

    What is right is wrong and what is wrong is right in this nation where might is right.

    Reply : 0       4

    Asela Saturday, 12 January 2013 03:14

    Well done sri Lanka. The signs of bleak future to motherland.

    Reply : 3       6

    Aloka Saturday, 12 January 2013 21:57

    Do not condemn Sri Lanka to the jungle culture. If you want to be recognised by the decent world, it is not too late to take a step back. Remember you have only the support of your puppets in the parliament and beyond that your rethoric is an empty hollow only !!

    Reply : 0       0

    Lucky Weeramantry Saturday, 12 January 2013 07:00

    Very Soon We Have To Get Rice From Moon Using Our Own Rocket Technology

    Reply : 0       4

    aza Saturday, 12 January 2013 07:15

    god save our motherland

    Reply : 0       1

    Lucky Weeramantry Saturday, 12 January 2013 07:18

    We'll Lose All International Friends. Only China Will Stand By Us For The Wrong Things We Do. our Children Will Have Obtain Chinese Degrees

    Reply : 0       3

    Lucky Weeramantry Saturday, 12 January 2013 07:46

    Beware! Very Bad Action Has A Bad Reaction. This Is A Scientific Proverb. The Floods Are Good Examples. Many More Natural Disasters Will Occur. God Commands Everything.

    Reply : 0       3

    Lucky Weeramantry Saturday, 12 January 2013 07:48

    Helpless People In A Lawless Country

    Reply : 0       3

    Lucky Weeramantry Saturday, 12 January 2013 12:46

    All Judgements Can Given By Parliament. Bypass Supreme Court

    Reply : 0       0

    ling Saturday, 12 January 2013 17:53

    How come DM published so many Lucky Weeramantry's comment? Paid comments or what??? Comments are so shallow, so much hatred.

    Reply : 0       0

    RajaDrohi Sunday, 13 January 2013 00:00

    Why these international Insitutions are highly worreid about interal matter of Sri Lanka. They were so slient much worse things happend in other counties while excecuting world known leaders. This obviouse they waiting for the help of CJ to get thier things done.

    Reply : 0       1

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