Rapporteur calls for transparent justice system in Sri Lanka

The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers says the administration of justice in Sri Lanka deserves to be more transparent, decentralized and democratic.

A report by Mónica Pinto, the former Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers on her visit to Sri Lanka last year, has been submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Pinto visited Sri Lanka from 29 April to 7 May 2016, at the invitation of the Government, to assess the situation and remaining challenges concerning the independence of judges, prosecutors and lawyers and the proper administration of justice.

The visit was conducted jointly with the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez.

In the report, Mónica Pinto says Sri Lanka needs to conduct a strict exercise of introspection, so as to improve the independence, quality and credibility of its judiciary, the Attorney-General’s department and police forces.

“A significant change in the attitude and sensitivity of many members of the legal professions, in particular the judiciary, towards reforms and human rights will be necessary. Guidance on how to go about strengthening the independence, impartiality and competence of the administration of justice can be found in this report, but also in an important number of international and regional instruments, including the Latimer House Principles on the Three Branches of Government endorsed by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in 2003,” she says.

Pinto says while the democratic gains of the last two years must be welcomed, it is important to recognize that much more could and should have been done to manifest a commitment to genuine reform, in particular in the justice sector, and concretizing the creation of meaningful and participatory transitional justice mechanisms.

She also notes more tangible reforms are expected and necessary before the country can be considered to be on a stable and sustainable path towards democracy governed by the rule of law.

“It is important to accelerate the process of positive change within a comprehensive and inclusive framework otherwise the momentum for such reform could be lost,” she added.

Pinto notes that building a justice system that all sectors of society will trust and be able to rely on to defend and enforce their rights will take time, but it will also take bold steps as a sign of the authorities’ commitment to address the atrocities of the past and above all the structures that allowed these to happen.

She says is it important to remember that justice must not merely be done, but must also be seen to be done. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Our system of law and fair justice remain in Ceylon since 1842 after the Callbrook and Cameroon legal order . That was history of legal system of Ceylon under the British Occupation of colonial an island over 160 years by Empire since then.

    We do want another white women to teach Fair justice system and an introduced Transparent more democratic and so-called decentralized by human rights activities is absolutely political nonsense.

    We are matured on democracy than politics of “Tamil Nadu democracy”.
    Well human rights activities that keep their mind we were deal with most ruthless Tamil Terrorist of LTTE in the world by elected government democratic of
    Sri lanka.
    We are having every right to address and safeguard democracy is pillars of country democracy base on the sovereignty of all Sri Lankan nationalities in committed duty and accountability of people’s elected governances not others as well.

    That is great deal of justice of Democracy did not realized by so-called Human rights women activities that how important of country justice against Tamil Terrorist . Tamils politics are born out of chauvinist terrorism who are inside and outside LTTE, by the way there are proxies of Tamil terrorist in Sri lanakn parliament as leaders of opposition party of TNA? They who want “Justice’ for that Tamil terrorist by lobbying in Human right out-fit in Geneva by sugar coated bullets of justice of democracy”.!

    • Sri Lankan judiciary is made impotent by a corrupt police and corrupt Attorneys at law. I am the victim of the police who negated the court orders by allowing criminal trespass by the police. T he cause of all evil in this country is the police and corrupt politicians. No amount of complaints to the IGP , Police commission was of any use. It is now one year since the inquiry by police commission that refused to accept documentation for the inquiry to give a report. Even the Presidential secretariat was denied. This is the Law and order in this country. If violence prevents decent citizens of expressing this injustice I think it is gods send that this Lady was able to alert the world. Yahapalanaya is a load of bullshit.

  2. How about starting ‘reforms’ by prosecuting the five policemen who shot dead two undergraduates peacefully riding a motorcycle, months ago.


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