A debate on the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession in Sri Lanka
Thursday 25 June 2009, 1900 – 2000 hrs
The Law Society’s Hall, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
In May 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka declared victory in its long war against the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), during which it has come under significant international pressure to address the problem of impunity for serious human rights violations and abuses of humanitarian law. At this critical juncture in its history the debate should focus on the need to rebuild independent institutions, to strengthen the justice system and to ensure accountability for human rights violations in order to restore public confidence in the rule of law in Sri Lanka.
The panel will discuss the current state of the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession in Sri Lanka in light of the recent International Bar Association Human Rights Institute’s (IBAHRI) report Justice in Retreat: A report on the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka, as well as lessons learnt from past Commissions of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations.
Alex Wilks IBAHRI Programme Lawyer
Rohan Edrisinha Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka; Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo
Lord William Goodhart QC Member of the House of Lords and leader of the 2009 IBAHRI mission to Sri Lanka; Former Vice President of the International Commission of Jurists
Professor Sir Nigel Rodley Human Rights Centre, University of Essex; UK member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) appointed to observe the National Commission of Inquiry (ceased April 2008); Member of the UN Human Rights Committee
J C Weliamuna Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka; Sri Lankan Supreme Court Advocate and attorney at law