President responds to criticism made over appointment of judge

President responds to criticism made over appointment of judge

By Tharushan Fernando

Feb 16, 2017 | 7:57 pm

President Maithripala Sirisena responding to criticism leveled against him on the appointment of a judge, noting that the Presidential Secretary was immediately instructed to inform BASL that the name given by them cannot be accepted

PRESWhen the Bar Association of Sri Lanka proposed a name to the President, the Presidential Secretary was immediately instructed to inform the BASL that it cannot be done. Thereby, the Presidential Secretary informed the BASL in writing that their request cannot be met.

Thereafter, the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and a group of representatives met the President urging him to fulfill the request and that it cannot be put aside.

Following this move, the President had put forward five names (who were appointed to the higher institutions in the judicial sector) after receiving the approval, based on the evaluation these institutions conducted.

“I must very clearly say that I did not do this for my personal gain. I must also note that there is a sense of fairness in the scrutiny which is being leveled against this matter. Whatever function within the judicial sector should be carried out in an extremely pure and honest manner. I am a person who will be of this stance today and tomorrow and the day after”, he said.
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President of BASL,Geoffrey Alagaratnam said that lawyers believe the law has to be people-friendly and it has to be relevant to the time and it has to effectively and meaningfully serve society.

“We need to constantly look at the law at a national level to see where we are, where are we going, what have we done and what more needs to be done. We of the Bar are committed to support the government in matters of good governance to ensure that true rule of law and democracy prevails, which after all is and should be our common goal. Good governance and true rule of law is necessary if the law is to be effective”, he pointed out.

SRIPAVAnChief Justice,K. Sripavan said that pursuing justice is a noble calling, but not always a glamorous one and many enter the legal profession to make a difference in society – to improve communities, to protect the disadvantaged or to uphold the values that is cherished therefore it should be a concern to all that few lawyers in the country are civic conscious.

Two separate committees (with two Supreme Court Justices as its chairpersons) have been appointed to recommend the required amendments to the Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Code as well as the Penal Code according to the Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana,Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

He added that the government understands that there is a need for a change in the judicial system.

He pointed out that there is an unbelievable amount of cases which have backlogged at the Supreme Court and this is causing a disadvantage to the people of the country.

He went on to note that the government has an idea to establish a system which decentralise the powers of the judiciary on fundamental rights to a certain extent and at the same time establish a Civil Appeals Court in place of High Courts.

President’s Counsel,K. Kanag-Isvaran charged that politicians have become men of flux and cannot be pinned down. And they have nothing settled or steady, either in their own minds or in any of their discourses. But the Bar must surely recognise there is something inherent in the nature of politics and politicians in the country which is not conducive to achieving stability which is the lack of responsibility, in the sense of liability to be made to accountability.

“What it is we need is responsible, honest, competent governance and a competent and legal provision which will restore public confidence in all institutions of governments, institutions which provide access to justice and delivery of justice to name but a few”, he said.