Justice delayed is justice denied
Posted on October 16th, 2016

Rohan Perera Narahenpita  Courtesy The Island


What has the Judiciary been doing? I have been provoked into writing by the recent letter captioned “Justice Thurairaja notes delays of Justice” by K Godage. We certainly need to thank both the Justice and the writer for highlighting this most serious national problem, which has not been adequately highlighted either by the media or by members of Parliament, who have not done anything about it though it is their duty by the citizens of this country. Neither has the Judiciary got the government to do anything about it, perhaps because of the power of the legal fraternity.

What really has happened or is happening to our Judiciary. The Island yesterday carried a report titled “Fine, suspended RI for bid to import unapproved drugs: JUSTICE AFTER 23 LONG YEARS”! No comment is needed as it tells its own story.

We citizens who have always held the Judiciary in high esteem are deeply concerned about the trend we see which disturbs us

Hence, I decided to write this short essay to see whether the public feels the same as us. We have always associated the Judiciary at all levels with Integrity, independence – namely Judicial Independence (not caving into pressure from any source), impartiality and competence. Has there been an erosion of these values? There is indeed a perception among some which is, to say the least, unfortunate. In recent days we often hear the mention of accountability in another context, but is the Judiciary accountable and if so to whom, may I ask? Is not the Judiciary also responsible for the delays in the judicial process?

During the period of the Rajapaksa regime, it was often alleged that the Executive Branch of government transgressed, influenced judicial decisions, and made a mockery of the Independence of the Judiciary. The cruel and stupid decision to remove then CJ Shirani Bandaranayake was just one instance – there was of course the monstrous anti-democratic 18th Amendment which allowed it all – we citizens are indeed grateful that it has been repealed; we sincerely hope that the Independence of the Judiciary will be restored.

In recent days we have had a senior Judge being accused of absolute unethical behavior and of bringing the Judiciary into disrepute. So there does appear to be an urgent need for the Judiciary itself to get its act together and to put its house in order, and perhaps even have a Code of Ethics for the Judiciary, if they do not have one already, to restore the integrity and dignity of the Judiciary. The confidence of the people in the Judiciary must never be allowed to be eroded; it is not in the interests of the country. I wonder whether the Judicial Service Commission or any Committee of the Supreme Court monitors the work of Judges to ensure that they observe certain accepted standards and have been independent in the decisions they have made, and that the judicial decisions have been made in good faith.


I do hope that retired Judges of the Supreme Court, and persons of the caliber of Justice Weeramantry, would advise the government on this most important matter. In conclusion, permit me to share two thoughts with our readers. Considering the charges of our lawyers and their incomes, should we not at least double the remunerations of our Judiciary, to attract the best to the profession? And should we not bring back the Administration of Justice Law, which was introduced by one time Justice Minister, the brilliant Felix Dias Bandaranaike, which cut out delays and made Justice meaningful to the people?

Rohan Perera


2 Responses to “Justice delayed is justice denied”

  1. Nimal Says:

    There’s nothing new or good about our justice system.Since our so called independence all the regimes have been corrupting the system.Our court procedures are a joke which is set up to bleed the money out of the people and it is truly disgraceful that reflect our rotten culture of the Sinhalese race.We are all responsible for it. I tried to speak to many politicians including CBK and Prof Peris requesting them to put it right,but nothing came out of it.
    Just like the black coated Kakas in the courts our politicians are there to suck the blood out of us the struggling taxpayers.
    IN UK a civil case is completed in one day where all submissions are presented in one day and decision is made on the same day because they are people with an advance culture where time and money is precious while we pretend to be cultured,no way.
    We live in a such a horrible culture where it is a government policy to transfer people with out giving any thought to the distress that causes to families where they are relocated,in some cases in more than three places.This is one way to punish and take revenge on people.
    Authorities and politicians live and travel on our roads in a high handed way,couldn’t care less for any other road users and the people have followed their bad examples where one only have to see the daily horrors on our roads.I some time think that some of our drivers are either brain dead or on a suicidal the way they dive on to the main roads without looking on to the incoming fast traffic,just like cattle.Last night I was driven to Colombo were every second someone was driving so carelessly,just closed my eyes all the way.One escorted car was going at high speed on the oncoming lane,without being with the traffic flow and it was beggars belief that he was allowed to go pass the traffic cop in front of the Kadugannawa Rail Station.It looks like the politicians and some take it as political victimization when caught out.This a tragedy for our country and we should be concerned.As I bravely say that we had a decent cultured country with the colonials and we must get them back,but I doubt that they would ever bother about us.

  2. Nimal Says:

    This afternoon a judge was given with an armed police escort on motor bikes.May I ask why such extravagence and it’s we who pay with our hard earned taxes?The country is courrupt and unaccountable to the people and tax payers.

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