Think carefully before bringing judges to Parliament! A message from England to the government.
The Bar Council of England and Wales is also paying attention to the challenging in Parliament by Minister of State Shehan Semasinghe and MP Premnath C. Dolawatta of the order given by the Supreme Court regarding the allocation of money for local government elections. Issuing a press release on this, the council says that it hopes that the Sri Lankan parliamentary authorities will carefully reconsider whether or not it is appropriate to question Supreme Court judges before a parliamentary committee. The council further mentions that the government of Sri Lanka should pay close attention to the government’s disobedience to the orders given by the court.
MP Dolawatta stated in the Parliament that the order given by the Supreme Court preventing the withholding of the money allocated from the budget for the local government election is infringing on the parliamentary privileges and therefore the judges of the Supreme Court should be summoned before the Privileges and Ethics Committee. He asked the Parliament to order the government agencies not to implement the above Supreme Court order until called.
In this statement, Nick Winnell KC, President of the Bar Council of England and Wales, states that an independent judiciary is an essential and crucial part of the rule of law, and the principle of compliance by governments with court orders must remain the same.
Likewise, the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary state that “it is the duty of all states and other institutions to respect and monitor the independence of the judiciary and the Government of Sri Lanka must act responsibly to safeguard that status.”