Administration of justice

SRI LANKA: A Tragic Transformation: The Strange Case Of The 1978 Constitution

By Basil Fernando I have borrowed the title of this article from the immortal work of Robert Lewis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This novel is about a mysterious and tragic transformation caused by the use of certain chemicals. By the use of such chemical concoctions, Dr. Jekyll, an amiable, […]

INDIA: The other, invisible victims of CAA in Meghalaya

Article | India | 18-03-2020

By Avinash Pandey Despite all the claims of them too being “atoot ang” or unbreakable part of the country, news from the North Eastern states of India seldom make it to the national headlines, with The Telegraph, published from Kolkata being an exception, perhaps because of its proximity. So there were no surprises on national […]

SRI LANKA: Second Anniversary of the establishment of the Office on Missing Persons

The establishment of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) on 28th February 2018 with a broad mandate to investigate the fate of the missing and disappeared and protect the rights of their relatives, represented an explicit acknowledgement by the State of its responsibility to establish the truth and ensure justice. It was a milestone in […]

SRI LANKA: How can unscrupulous lawyers manipulate delays in the law?

By Basil Fernando This article is about the manner in which unscrupulous lawyers could manipulate delays in the law to their personal advantage. This type of behavior is now a permanent feature in Sri Lanka’s legal system. Analysis of the methods used for such manipulation are based on experiences from actual cases. Reflections on the […]

BANGLADESH: Torturous law-enforcement system with impunity and rewards to perpetrators impede protection of rights

A Written Submission to the 43rd Regular Session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) draws attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures about the institutionalised practice of torture in Bangladesh, which is an incumbent member of the […]

WORLD: Dispossession caused by ultra-violent methods of civil rights suppression

Statement | World | 23-02-2020

In many countries in Asia, it has become common for the state to use ultra-violent methods to control or deny the civil rights of people. Several countries used enforced disappearance as such method of ultra-violently suppressing civil rights. Extrajudicial killings are justified under various pretexts, such as control of the drug trade; or achieving constitutional […]

PHILIPPINES: POLICE REFORMS CANNOT BE ACHIEVED THROUGH ULTRA-VIOLENT METHODS

The South China Morning Post recently published a report quoting Colonel Romeo Caramat stating that the Philippines’ ultra-violent approach in curbing drugs has not been effective. He further went on to say that “shock and awe definitely did not work”. The drug supply is still widespread and illicit drugs can be obtained anywhere, anytime in […]

THAILAND: Drop Criminal Complaint Against Fortify Rights Senior Human Rights Specialist Puttanee Kangkun

Thai authorities or Thai poultry company Thammakaset Company Limited should immediately drop criminal defamation complaints against Puttanee Kangkun and other human rights defenders, Fortify Rights said today. On December 6, Thammakaset filed a complaint against Puttanee with the Bangkok Southern Criminal Court for 14 social media engagements expressing support for human rights defenders. Puttanee is […]

BANGLADESH: Muzzling press freedom triggering risks on livelihood of Information Technology professionals

Bangladesh’s incumbent government, headed by Sheikh Hasina, continues curbing civic space and muzzling freedom of expression. The latest target has been Netra News – an investigative news portal launched from Sweden on 26 December 2019. Bangladesh government blocked access to the news portal within 72 hours of its launching with a report entitled “A wrist of luxury”. The […]

INDIA/SRI LANKA: Gang Rapes, Justice and Civilization in India and Sri Lanka

An incident was reported in December 2019 from India regarding the gang rape of a woman and what happened thereafter. The news of the gang rape stirred up a massive protest from many parts of India. Among those who were involved in the protest were sections of the intelligencia of India such as Professors, doctors, […]

WORLD: Thai judge survives shooting himself in the chest in open court as a protest against interference with judicial independence

By Basil Fernando In a Thai courthouse on 4th October 2019, Judge Khanakorn Pianchana shot himself in the chest as a protest against interference with the independence of judges in their decision-making process. Fortunately, he survived the suicide attempt – made in open court – and is reportedly out of intensive care. Regarding the issue […]

WORLD: International Statement of Solidarity on Assassination of Derk Wiersum

A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, Lawyers for Lawyers, and 30 other civil society organisations of the world 4 October 2019 – We, the undersigned organizations, are deeply shocked by the brutal killing of our Dutch colleague Derk Wiersum. We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Wiersum’s family, friends, colleagues and all […]

SRI LANKA: Weaponisation of Ambiguity – Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution

  By Basil Fernando  The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka is an outstanding example of how meaning can be manipulated through the weaponisation of ambiguity. It uses language that gives the appearance of a liberal democratic constitution of a republic while also putting in place various devices that severely undermine all the basic norms and standards […]

ASIA: Human Rights Mechanisms need practical actions on domestic institutional developments for administration of justice

An Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) Mr. President. The effectiveness of the United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms for protection of rights depends very much on the compliance of the State parties to implement Article 2 of the International Covenant on […]

WORLD: Affirming rights by ratification, denying rights in actual practice

Statement | World | 19-09-2019

Affirming something through a declaration and denying the same in actual practice happens everywhere, but the real test of affirmation is the degree to which something is practiced. When what is affirmed and what is actually practiced is virtually divorced then the very act of affirmation becomes a mockery. That, unfortunately, is the situation regarding […]

PHILIPPINES: Extrajudicial killing of jurists as part of a pattern of widespread and systematic violations of human rights

A Joint Written Submission to the 42nd Regular Session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada 1. Introduction Since 30 June 2016, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (the Philippines) has engaged in a campaign of extrajudicial killing in violation of the […]

THAILAND: CONTEMPT OF COURT over critics of decision on MP’s media shareholding

A Statement from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission Case Between the Election Cases Division of the Supreme Court and Sarinee Achavanuntakul, Thai academic                                                    […]

WORLD: UN Human Rights Council should address human rights crisis in Cambodia at its 42nd session

A Joint Statement by the Asian Legal Resource Centre and 27 human rights organisaitons To Members and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council 30 August 2019 Dear Excellency, The undersigned civil society organizations, representing groups working within and outside Cambodia to advance human rights, rule of law, and democracy, are writing to […]

AHRC TV: UN urges ‘restraint’ as Hong Kong police get more violent and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 263

This week Just Asia begins with Hong Kong, where continuing protests are seeing an increase in police violence. Video footage shows police firing tear gas in enclosed areas, keeping a bleeding protester on the ground, and using batons to hit fleeing protesters. One woman suffered a ruptured eye due to a fired bean bag round, […]

BANGLADESH: Human rights groups urge government to implement recommendations on torture and other abuses after damning UN review

14 August 2019: Following serious concerns expressed by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) about torture in Bangladesh, seven human rights organizations call on the Bangladeshi government to recognize the magnitude of the problem and address and implement the nearly 90 recommendations made by the UN body. On 9 August 2019, the CAT published its […]