Institutional reform

BANGLADESH: Unhindered Access to Justice is Key to Sustainable Development

Access to Justice is coupled with multiple hindrances in Bangladesh’s Justice Mechanism. The filter of politicisation, corruption, and ineptness of professionals at all times supersedes the juridical norms in the country’s Judicial System. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has subtly exposed the problems, as reflections came from participants of a Webinar hosted by the Asian Human […]

BANGLADESH: Access to justice amidst COVID-19 for pro-opposition litigants are dealt with draconian laws and discrimination

A Written Submission to the 44th 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 to the realities regarding access to justice in Bangladesh, an incumbent member of the Human […]

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව: ලෝකයේ දිගම වදහිංසා නඩුව

 මේ දින වල ලොව පුරා ප්‍රචලිත පුවත වන්නේ ඇමරිකාවේ සුදු ජාතික පොලිස් නිලධාරියෙකු විසින් කළු ජාතික සාමන්‍ය පුරවැසියකුගේ බෙල්ල මත දණහිස තබා මරණයට පත් කිරීමේ සිදු වීමයි. එම මරණය සිදු කල ආකාරය ඡායාරූප ගත කර ඇති හෙයින් එය කාටත් දැක ගැනීමට අවස්ථාව උදාවී ඇත. මෙම සිද්ධියත් සමඟ ඇමරිකාව පුරා බලවත් විරෝධතා ඇති වීමත්, එම විරෝධතාවයන්ට […]

PHILIPPINES/WORLD: “In the absence of clear and measurable outcomes from domestic mechanisms, consider options for international accountability measures”. UNHR Commissioner for Human Rights tells the Philippines government

 The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights submitted report to the UN Human Rights Council on 4th of June. It is a very comprehensive report on serious violations of Human Rights that have been taking place in the last few years. In her concluding remarks, the High Commissioner’s report says… “The legal, constitutional and […]

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, […]

WORLD: 30th anniversary of Richard de Zoysa’s murder, and the continuing culture of impunity

Statement | World | 27-02-2020

30 years ago, Richard de Zoysa was abducted and disappeared. His dead body was later found on a beach. During the same period, literally tens of thousands of persons throughout the country were also disappeared, and none of the cases relating to such disappearances have been resolved through genuine investigations and prosecutions. Indeed, the process […]

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 […]

BANGLADESH: Defending rights requires unified resistance

A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, and Odhikar on the occasion of International Human Rights Day Dhaka/Manila/Hong Kong, 10 December 2019: On International Human Rights Day, the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and Odhikar pay tribute to and stand in […]

SRI LANKA: What happens to the people happens also to judges, lawyers, and others

A comment on the memoir of Former Chief Justice Dr Shiranee Bandaranayake entitled “Hold Me in Contempt” Basil Fernando Attorney-At-Law This memoir by former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on the (now nullified) impeachment is a significant contribution to the cause of promoting the independence of judiciary in Sri Lanka. Its significance lies in the […]

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: A NATION IS NOT MERELY TERRITORY OR AN IDEOLOGY BUT A COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS

By Basil Fernando Legalistically speaking, a nation is a people living together in a particular geographical region. But legal definitions do not create a nation. The meaning of nation is far deeper than any legal definition of it. Often politicians define a nation in terms of ideologies. For example, if a nation at a given […]

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 […]

SRI LANKA: ලංකාවේ නීති අධ්‍යාපනයේ අසාර්ථකත්වය

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු ලංකාවේ නීති අධ්‍යාපනය මුළුමනින්ම අසාර්ථකත්වයකින් පෙළෙන අධ්‍යාපන ක‍්‍රමයකි. වෘත්තීය අධ්‍යාපන ආයතන වල මූලික වගකීම වන්නේ එම වෘත්තියෙහි නියැලීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන අපේක්ෂකයන්ට එසේ එය කර ගැනීම සඳහා අවශ්‍ය දැනුම, අවශ්‍ය පුහුණුව මෙන්ම අවශ්‍ය සදාචාරක පදනම ඉගැන්වීමය. මේ අනුව බලන විට දැනට ලාංකික නීති අධ්‍යාපනය වටා ගොඩනැගුනු සෑම ආයතනයක් තුළම දකින්නට ලැබෙන්නේ ඔවුන්ගේ වෘත්තිය කර […]

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 […]

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                                                    […]

SRI LANKA: An interview on crisis of Law with Mr. Basil Fernando

(Colombo Sri Lanka, August 09, 2019) We are sharing an interview with Mr. Basil Fernando in the National Television Station (Rupavahini) regarding the Crisis of Law in Sri Lanka in their 99 Minutes Program.       Please Click here See the Full Interview

AHRC TV: Legal profession calls for inquiry into police inaction and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 262

In this episode Just Asia begins with Hong Kong, where there have been new developments arising out of an attack at Yuen Long MTR station on ordinary citizens. A group of people wearing white shirts, generally believed to be thugs, attacked protesters and ordinary commuters with knives and batons on July 21st. The Hong Kong […]

AHRC TV: UN report says one of nine persons faces hunger and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 261

This week Just Asia begins with a new UN report stating that 821 million people, or one out of nine persons globally, is facing hunger. Titled ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019’, the report was launched by five UN agencies at a special event Monday, in New York. Of the world’s […]