A special committee appointed by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has observed that certain provisions of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill infringe on the Fundamental Rights of the citizens.
The BASL stated that it appointed a special committee consisting of senior legal experts to review the Anti-Terrorism Bill, Gazetted on March 22, 2023.
The committee observed that certain provisions, inter alia, clauses 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 28, 30, 31, 36, 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86 of the bill infringed upon the principles of the criminal justice system and are in contravention of the legal rights of the citizens.
In a statement, the BASL stated that it was the view of the Committee that the provisions stipulated in the said bill violated the Fundamental Rights enumerated under Chapter III of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, especially in light of Article 14 of the Constitution (i.e. Freedom of Speech, Assembly, Association, Occupation, Movement, etc).
The BASL said that based on the committee recommendations it would be making representations to the Ministry of Justice, and all other stakeholders, requesting that amendments be made to the bill, in compliance with the Constitution.
“In order to protect the rights of the citizens, in the event the bill is placed in the Order Paper before Parliament, in the current form, BASL will be taking steps in law to challenge the bill in the appropriate forum,” the BASL statement added.
This statement was signed by BASL President Kaushalya Nawaratne and its Secretary Isuru Balapatabendi. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)
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