Friday, March 1, 2024

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BASL condemns growing trend of MPs exploiting parliamentary privileges

By: Isuru Parakrama

Colombo (LNW): The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) raised strong concerns over what it described as a ‘growing trend’ of Members of Parliament exploiting their parliamentary privileges by making various statements in the chambers pertaining to matters which are ‘sub judice‘.

In a statement, the BASL emphasised that it finds a statement made by Ruling Party MP Sarath Weerasekara on July 07 as an unfounded, brazen attack on the judiciary and social fabric of the country.

The Union further observed:

“The BASL is of the view that the Judiciary should be allowed to operate independently, free from external pressures, threats or any interference, for a vibrant democracy to exist. In an international view point the United Nations Basic Principles on the independence of the Judiciary, interalia, states;

  1. The independence of the judiciary shall be guaranteed by the State and enshrined in the Constitution or the law of the country. It is the duty of all governmental and other institutions to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary.
  2. The judiciary shall decide matters before them impartially, on the basis of facts and in accordance with the law, without any restrictions, improper influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interferences, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.”

The BASL urged both the Government and the Opposition to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary, and reminded that any interference in the judicial process sets a dangerous precedent, which must be strongly condemned.

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