The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has in no uncertain terms demanded that the authorities make the necessary arrangements to ensure the safety of former BASL President Saliya Pieris’ and give him the space to carry out his professional duties as an attorney-at-law.

Issuing a statement regarding a series of organized protests in Colombo in relation to Saliya Pieris PC, the BASL observed that said protest not only seriously hinders his right to represent a client, a professional right which has been safeguarded by law, but also is an attack on the profession at large.

These protests were organized in relation to Saliya Pieris conducting his professional duties with regard to Nadun Chinthaka Wickramaratne, alias “Harak Kata.”

Section 41 of the Judicature Act, which has clearly set out the right of representation and further shed light on the above mechanism established for implementing the administration of justice in the country, was also mentioned in the BASL statement.

Our constitution specifically guarantees the right to legal representation in Article 13(3). which states that every person has the right to a fair trial and the right to be represented by a lawyer of their choice.

In addition, the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the right to legal representation in criminal cases. Section 260 of the Code states that an accused person has the right to be represented by an attorney-at-law, and every aggrieved party shall have the right to be represented in court by an attorney-at-law, the BASL statement further added.

This statement had been issued by newly elected BASL President Kaushalya Nawaratne and its Secretary, Isuru Balapatabendi.



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