‘The judiciary stands as a Bulwark against executive excesses’-BASL President
Source: Daily Mirror
The following are excerpts from the Al-haj M. E. Bakeer Marker Memorial Oration delivered by Upul Jayasuriya, the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL).
Sadly so we are in an era experiencing mixed priorities where in democratic values or Rule of Law draws less attention and importance.
Where has it all begun? Values we all treasured and embraced, generation after generation have dwindled in no uncertain terms. The political leadership is mainly responsible for this [situation]. It is a rare commodity even amongst the rulers. If those who set the rules have no respect for them who guards the guards?
Who guards the guards?
It matters not, if a government minister, politician or even the prime minister demand prosecution be started.
Political aims, petty vindictiveness or vendettas should have no role to play. This process helps uphold the rule of law.
Lord Simon, one- time Attorney General of the United Kingdom said:
“The attorney general should absolutely decline to receive orders from the prime minister or cabinet or anybody else”.
He also further said: “While that may not do much for my political career, that is an important protection for the rule of law in the United Kingdom and one that I will uphold and staunchly defend.”
Within the framework of the rule of law, there cannot exist situations which oppress freedom of association, expressions, rights of minorities, condone wrongs over the right, and support the views of political masters and their dictates.
Such a legal system will allow discrimination. Absence of protection for human rights, courts and legal system may deprive fellow citizens of their freedom, property and ultimately their very existence. In such circumstances, the claim that the rule of law is observed is but a mockery of the truth. Continue reading