Lawyer appointed as High Court Judge violating constitution?
Posted on February 10th, 2017

By Yusuf Ariff  Courtesy  Adaderana

The Judicial Service Association of Sri Lanka claims that President Maithripala Sirisena has given an attorney a direct appointment as a High Court Judge, which it says is a violation of the constitution and judicial service tradition.

In a letter to the President, the Secretary of the association Mount Lavinia Magistrate M.M.M. Mihal says that this grave error can be corrected.

A unanimous decision had been reached during the association’s executive committee meeting on February 03 to write to the President regarding the controversial appointment.

The Judicial Service Association says that says that several judicial officers in the country have made quarries regarding rumours circulated about the appointment of a lawyer from unofficial bar directly as a High Court Judge.

The power of appointing judged to the High Court is vested with the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission with consultation with the Attorney General, according to article 111(2) (a) of the constitution.

Executive committee members of the Judicial Service Association met with the Chief Justice on February 01 to verify the aforementioned appointment and to inform the concerns of the judicial officers. At the meeting, the Chief Justice had informed them that the said appointment was made on a request made by the President due to an urge by the unofficial bar.

However, the Judicial Service Association says its executive committee came to learn that neither the Bar council nor the executive committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has taken such a decision and that it has verified the said information from the BASL.

When contacted by Ada Derana, BASL Secretary Amal Randeniya stated that as per a decision reached by the executive committee yesterday (9) a written response will be provided to the inquiry made by the Judicial Service Association on a later date.

He pointed out that here is no legal restriction to appointing senior attorneys to high courts and that there are plenty of such examples in the justice sector. As to whether Mr Ramanathan Kannan is suitable to the position should be discussed separately, he further said.

However, he said that the Judicial Service Association had inquired from the Bar Association as to whether a request was made by letter to appoint Mr Kannan as a High Court Judge and that no such request was approved by the BASL executive committee or taken up for discussion.

According to the JSA’s letter to the President, even the Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksa was not aware of Mr Ramanathan Kannan’s appointment.

It says that the minister had informed the association that a certain political party had made a request to appoint the attorney as a High Court Judge and that he had not given approval to that.

Therefore it is clear that neither the Bar Association of Sri Lanka nor the Justice Minister had made any request pertaining to his appointment and that some elements have in the pretext of the Bar Association mislead the President and Chief Justice in this instance, the JSA said.

The letter states that Ramanathan Kannan was sworn in as a High Court Judge on February 01, 201

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3 Responses to “Lawyer appointed as High Court Judge violating constitution?”

  1. Sooriarachi Says:

    This President acts like an almighty, because of his ignorance of the Sri Lanka constitution, and the tacit support of those who like Sri Lanka to have a puppet President.

    Hasn’t he committed similar acts before and got away scot free?
    He asked a minority party to form a government.
    He appointed a Prime Minister from a minority party, whilst there was already a Prime Minister holding office.
    He exonerated and appointed a Chief Justice and then removed the current Chief Justice.
    This list can go on and on. So lets not waste time with an Almighty in power.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


  3. Dilrook Says:

    Tamilization of the Supreme Court is no accident. No Muslim is present in the Supreme Court today.

    This is carefully done to help pass the proposed openly federal constitution.

    It must be noted that Sri Lanka had a Tamil chief justice when 13A was illegally pushed through the parliament and the supreme court just as today.

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