The Supreme Court is a bulwark against the excesses of executive power. says BASL President Saliya Pieris

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has many a time been a beacon of hope, a bulwark against the excesses of executive power, and a defender of the sovereign rights of the people of Sri Lanka, BASL President Saliya Pieris PC said.

The BASL President, Saliya Pieris PC, made these remarks today (15) while speaking at the ceremonial sitting held at the Supreme Court to welcome Justice Priyantha Fernando as a Supreme Court Judge.

The BASL President said the courts and judges of Sri Lanka have demonstrated in a number of cases, including Mark Antony Bracegirdle, Jana Ghosha, Water’s Edge, and the dissolution of Parliament, that they have the mettle and the strength of character to unwaveringly protect the Constitution, democratic institutions, and its people.

“Over the years, the courts of this country, both the original courts and the superior courts, have time and again been called upon to protect democracy and the rights and freedoms of the people that this country has been blessed with,” Pieris said.

The BASL President recalled the determination made by the Supreme Court on December 24th, 1981 regarding the constitutionality of the 3rd Amendment to the Constitution, which sought to increase the number of Members of Parliament from the seat of Kalawana from one to two. The background to the proposed amendment was a brazenly undemocratic attempt by the Executive and the Legislature to thwart the franchise and to bypass the decision of the Court of Appeal, which unseated the Member of Parliament for Kalawana, and to seat the unseated member back in Parliament. On the 26th of December 1981, a bench presided over by Chief Justice Neville Samarakoon determined that the proposed amendment violated the franchise and the sovereignty of the people. Pieris said the Supreme Court’s determination enabled the elected Member of Parliament to take his rightful place in the House.



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