SC petitioned supporting Death Penalty abolition Bill | Daily News
Seeks Court determination of Bill as constitutional:

SC petitioned supporting Death Penalty abolition Bill

A special determination petition was yesterday filed in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the clauses of the bill titled “An Act to Abolish the Death Penalty and to Make Consequential Provisions” are consistent with the Constitution.

This petition had been filed by Prof. Camena Guneratne through counsel Manjula Balasooriya naming the Attorney General as respondent.

The Petitioner states that a Bill titled “An Act to Abolish the Death Penalty and to Make Consequential Provisions” was placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on 1st August 2019. This Bill is to be presented in Parliament by Parliamentarian Bandula Lal Bandarigoda.

The Petitioner states that this Bill has been formulated to abolish the death penalty as found in any Act, and to substitute the same with Life Imprisonment. The Petitioner specifically states that no provision of the Bill is unconstitutional, and therefore, the Petitioner entertains a Legitimate Expectation that such a Bill would duly be passed, bringing Sri Lanka in line with international norms. The Petitioner states that such introduction of the abolition of the death penalty was in line with disclosed State Policy, such Policy being the imposition of a moratorium on the Death Penalty. The Petitioner states that, in any event, the abolition of the death penalty in Sri Lanka’s legislation is a firm step in upholding the fundamental and inherent right to life enshrined in most international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Sri Lanka acceded to on 11th June 1980 (entry into force on 11th September 1980). The Petitioner states that the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights 2017 – 2021 of Sri Lanka seeks to explicitly recognize the right to life.

The Petitioner states that the abolition of the death penalty is constitutional as execution of such amounts to a violation of Article 11 of the Constitution and a failure to respect the inherent dignity of the person.

The Petitioner states that the clauses in the Bill can become Law, with a simple majority of members in Parliament.


 

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