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BASL against summoning AG before House

9 November 2015 10:53 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) today came out strongly against statements that the Attorney General should be summoned before Parliament over the Avant Garde issue.

"Whilst the legislative supremacy of parliament is respected, summoning persons before parliament to explain the legitimacy of their official acts for which there can be recourse to other alternative legitimate mechanisms could seriously undermine the independence and integrity required of such public functionaries and result in the office itself being the subject of public ridicule," a statement by the bar Association President Geoffrey Alagaratnam said.

It said that levelling unfair and unfounded allegations are inconsistent with legitimate criticism and can only lead to an erosion of the credibility of the institutions or offices in which such persons function.

Excerpts of the statement:

The Bar association of Sri Lanka (BASL), notes with concern the spate of and growing vilification and personal attacks on the members of the judiciary and on the Attorney General and officers of the said Department which has been given wide publicity in the media.

It is the right of the public to objectively criticize the actions of judicial officers and public officers in a functioning democracy. It is also the right of citizens in challenge such action an appropriate forum.

However it is important that such criticism not be based on allegations which are unfounded, without any basis and which unfairly attribute personal motives to public functionaries for their actions, in such a manner that they are unable to respond to the same.

The BASL is also concerned that as was previously contemplated against the Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (Bribery Commission) that there have been suggestions that the Attorney General be summoned to parliament in connection with orders or decisions related to the functions of his office.

The BASL also notes that It is important for the judiciary and the Attorney General’s Department to take note of the fact that over a period of time there has been a serious erosion of public confidence in institutions administering justice. It is the duty of all concerned including judges and officers of the Attorney General’s Department as well as members of the unofficial Bar, to help restore public confidence in these institutions.
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  • Prasad Monday, 09 November 2015 05:10 PM

    Looks like some actually know what good governance actually means. Donkeys (specially the red donkeys) in parliament doesnt know what they are shouting about

    Bala Monday, 09 November 2015 06:27 PM

    It is the politicians who spoilt the integrity and independence of the judicary and the AGs Dept by appointiing political favourites and now complaning when they find decisions that they allegedly say is not to their liking. No one raised objections when appointments were made. Let us hope that the CC and other ICs will soon set it right. But this govt and ministers are still appointing misfits and favourites.


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