May 29, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s justice system, legal profession and media are all under grave threat, said a report published by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI).
Public confidence in the judiciary has got eroded and the Chief Justice is seen as biased, said the report on the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka.
It contains several recommendations to protect the independence of the judiciary, legal profession and media, the International Bar Association said in a statement.
It said that an IBAHRI delegation to Sri Lanka found that in recent years there has been an escalation of threats and physical attacks against lawyers filing fundamental rights applications and representing terrorist suspects.
Cases of intimidation and harassment by the government and the police authorities were also on the rise, the report said.
“The IBAHRI report details a number of great concerns from the independence of the judiciary to violence against lawyers,” the IBA statement quoted Lord Goodhart QC, who led the IBAHRI delegation to Sri Lanka between 28 February and 06 March 2009, as saying.
“It is imperative that, for exa