Sri Lanka to annul 2011 adhominem expropriation law
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a bill to annual an expropriation law enacted in 2011 that undermined investor confidence and blocked the island from getting investments after the end of a war.
Minister of Public Enterprises and Upcountry Development had presented the bill to annul the law titled Underperforming Enterprise or Underutilized Assets Act No 43 of 2011, the state information office said.
He was giving effect to a proposal in the 2018 budget.
The law named a series of companies by name, which lawyers pointed out was against all legal principles of free countries or was ad hominem.
In another shocking deviation from principles of natural justice and the separation of powers, those victimized by the law were prohibited from seeking legal redress.
The legislature is expected to make just laws, which when implemented by the executive, those affected may go to court. But the ‘law’ prohibited the action.
Unlike war risk, when private property may be subject to collateral damage, when a government uses it coercive powers and undermines justice and rule of law to take-over property, private individuals have no recourse. (Colombo/Apr15/2019-SB)
Kithmina Hewage- Institute of Policy Studies