Like the ICJ, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) issued a statement strongly condemning the impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake.
The BASL called on its members to refrain from attending Court or engaging in any professional duties on 10 and 11 January 2013 in protest of Parliament’s decision to move forward with the impeachment process. The statement is reproduced below:
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka strongly, unequivocally and with no reservations whatsoever condemns the decision to take up for debate the impeachment motion against her Ladyship the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake based on the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee which was quashed by the Court of Appeal and determined to be unlawful by the Supreme Court. The Bar Association has decided to call for all its members (in 78 Branch Associations) to refrain from attending to any Professional duty in protest on the 10th and 11th of January 2013 to express our deplorable condemnation.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka further urges H. E. the President of the Republic, Hon. Speaker and the leaders of all political parties representing the Parliament to honour and respect the determination of the Supreme Court which in terms of the Constitution of our country is vested with the sole and the exclusive jurisdiction as regards to Constitutional Interpretation and Determinations.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka is seriously concerned about the negative and eroding impact that any action of the legislative and executive organs of the government to disrespect and dishonour such determination would have on the Rule of Law in this Country.
Secretary Bar Association of Sri Lanka
On 10 November 2012, the BASL held a Special General Meeting and passed a resolution expressing ‘grave concern about the impeachment and the independence of the Judiciary’ urging the President and Speaker of Parliament to ‘reconsider’ the impeachment or alternatively to adopt a transparent and accountable procedure.
On 15 December 2012, the BASL passed a further three resolutions calling on the President of Sri Lanka to again reconsider the impeachment or alternatively enact a procedure for impeachment which guaranteed the right to a fair trial. The BASL warned that if the rule of law or fair trial rights were not observed in the impeachment process, the Sri Lankan Bar would not welcome a new Chief Justice.
On the same issue: Sri Lanka’s Parliament should reject motion to impeach Chief Justice