ABA ‘Gravely Concerned’ About Judicial Independence in Sri Lanka
* This post includes a corrected link for ABA President Bellows’ letter to President Rajapaksa
WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan 25, 2013 — Citing impeachment proceedings against the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and her removal from office despite the unconstitutionality of the proceedings, the American Bar Association expressed its grave concern about the independence of the judiciary in that nation.
In a letter from ABA President Laurel G. Bellows to President H.E. Mahinda Percy Rajapaksa, the association respectfully asked the Sri Lankan president to restore judicial independence, heed the rulings of the Supreme Court and “respect the essential role of the judiciary in a democratic society.” Bellows stressed that “without an impartial judiciary, governmental claims of commitment to democracy and the rule of law ring hollow.”
In the correspondence, Bellows listed several human rights instruments that hold judicial independence and human rights indispensable to the just rule of law.
The letter can be found online.