Constitutional Council violated Latimar House Principles | Daily News
Appointment of judges to superior courts:

Constitutional Council violated Latimar House Principles

The only criterion the Constitutional Council (CC) considered when denying promotions of the judges to the superior courts was the history of unfavourable judgements against the Government, Open University’s Legal Studies Department Head, Senior Lecturer Raja Gunaratne said.

Criticising the Constitutional Council (CC), he said the judges who had given judgments “in favour of the country and war heroes” and against the government’s ‘vicious policies’ had been denied promotion by the CC.

Addressing a press conference convened by university academics in Colombo yesterday to analyse the current issues of the country, Gunaratne accused the CC of violating the Commonwealth Latimar House Principles in approving the judges’ appointments.

Citing the Latimar House Principles which said, “Judges’ appointments must be made on the basis of clearly defined criteria and by a publicly declared process.The process should ensure equity of opportunities for who are eligible for judicial office,” Gunaratne said. He said the President followed those principles when he sent names of judges for promotions.

“What are the criteria followed by the CC? It does not have a single criterion.The judges are silent because the law prevents them from entering into any trade union action.They have a right to know as to why their promotions were denied.

The supremacy of law and judicial independence have been destroyed under this Government. It has been unable to appoint the Court of Appeal President as the CC rejects the President’s nominations,” he said in a sharp criticism on the CC.

However, when questioned by a journalist to name the judges whose promotions had been rejected by the CC, Gunaratne was reluctant to name any, adding that former Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe revealed the names.



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