The Asian Human Rights Commission has launched an online petition calling on the Sri Lankan Government to speedily enact a law on contempt of court.
(Hong Kong, July 29, 2010) The absence of a law relating to contempt to court has remained a matter of concern in Sri Lanka. Due to serious anxieties arising from the problems created by this absence, the Bar association of Sri Lanka appointed a committee to draft a law relating to this matter. This committee completed its task and a draft law was submitted to the parliament. However, despite all efforts taken in this regard, no action has been taken by the government to bring this draft law to the parliament.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has expressed its view on two Communications filed by two Sri Lankan citizens and recommended to the government to take speedy action to enact a law relating to contempt of court and to prevent future violations of citizens rights by abuse of proceedings under contempt of court charges. However, the government of Sri Lanka has not yet complied with the recommendations of the UNHRC.
There is much fear among the litigants and lawyers who have been subjected to unnecessary problems like the ones the two citizens of these two Communications to the UNHRC faced. There are also fears of a similar nature among journalists who report on court cases and commentators on legal matters. Such fears have a chilling effect on the legal process as well as freedom of expression.
Therefore, there is a urgent need to bring about legislation on contempt of court, similar to those already adopted in India and many other nations.
The Asian Human Rights Commission urges you to sign this petition and support the campaign for bringing about speedy legislation on contempt of court in Sri Lanka.
See the Online petition at: http://campaigns.ahrchk.net/contemptofcourt/
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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.