Fair Trial

Dec 16, 2012 (LBO) – An association representing Sri Lanka’s judicial officers have called for an independent tribunal to probe impeachment charges against chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake to ensure a fair trial. The chief justice walked out of the proceedings saying she was insulted by members of a ruling party dominated parliamentary select committee (PSC) which came under fire for not giving basic rights available to an ordinary accused.

“We are of the view that the PSC did not qualify in terms of the constitutional requirements to conduct an inquiry for the removal of a Chief Justice as a genuine tribunal,” Sri Lanka’s Judicial Services Association said in a statement.

“Such a tribunal must be an impartial judicial body. The composition, procedure and the very conduct of some members of the PSC failed to meet the basic standards expected of an impartial tribunal.”

The JSA also asked for legislation to enact an independent tribunal to go into impeachment of senior judges.

The statement said the United National Basic Principle of the Independence of the Judiciary guarantees to every judge a fair hearing and an independent review of removal proceedings.

“In the PSC proceedings, the Chie