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Sri Lanka highest court to hear 18 petitions on constitution amendment; BASL to intervene

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court is scheduled to hear 18 petitions on a controversial amendment to the constitution, September 29, a court official said, with the island’s association of lawyers also expected to intervene.

Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buvaneka Aluvihare, Sirisa de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardana and Vijith Malalgoda are in the bench, a court official said.

Several opposition groups and civil society groups are petitioning the court.

Concerns have been raised that the 20th amendment will undermine judicial independence and an audit commission.

Bar Association of Sri Lanka to BASL is also expected to make an intervention.

The Bar Council, the governing body of the organization decided on Saturday to intervene, a legal official said amid concerns over judicial independence and absolute immunity of the president as well as his acts.

The proposed amendment aims to remove room now available to challenge the acts of the President through a fundamental rights application. (Colombo/Sept28/2020)