Commonwealth lawyers pass resolution

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association, at a special plenary session during the Commonwealth Law Conference in South Africa today, passed a resolution on Sri Lanka calling for the island to be suspended from the commonwealth over allegations of serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth fundamental values.

The resolution jointly submitted by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) and the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA), also urges members of the Commonwealth to reconsider the holding of the next Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka as to do so will tarnish the reputation of the Commonwealth.

It also calls upon the Members of the Commonwealth, through the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, to place Sri Lanka on the agenda of its next meeting on 26 April 2013.

The resolution also says holding CHOGM ion Sri Lanka will call into grave question the value, credibility and future of the Commonwealth and will be seen as condoning the action of governments who violate its principles and by its silence will undermine the moral authority it purports to have in protecting and promoting fundamental values of the rule of law and human rights

Notwithstanding the resolution, the CLA, CLEA and CMJA affirmed their support to those seeking to uphold the rule of law in Sri Lanka.

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association is an international non-profit organisation which exists to promote and maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent and efficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, serves the people of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Legal Education Association is an international non-profit organisation which fosters and promotes high standards of legal education in the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association is a not for profit organisation, registered in the UK, whose aims are to promote judicial independence, advance education in the law, the administration of justice the treatment of offenders and the prevention of crime in the Commonwealth. It brings together judicial officers of all ranks from all parts of Commonwealth and provides a forum for the promotion of the highest judicial standards at all levels. (Colombo Gazette)