Legislation

SRI LANKA: The Neanderthal stage of constitution making – 1978

By – Basil Fernando With to the 20th amendment, once again Sri Lanka will return to the 1978’s constitution in its original form. From the making of that constitution up to now has been a wasted time for Sri Lanka from the point of view of the development of an organized society capable of meeting […]

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 […]

CAMBODIA: Civil Society Organizations call for the Royal Government of Cambodia to Amend the State of Emergency Law to Protect Human Rights

Phnom Penh, 13 May 2020 – Without urgent and substantial amendment, the new Law on the Management of the Nation in State of Emergency (“State of Emergency Law”) grants the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) powers to restrict the fundamental freedoms of the Cambodian people without limit. The recently promulgated State of Emergency Law was impulsively […]

BANGLADESH: Stifling expression using Digital Security Act must not be the norm to address COVID-19 pandemic

The Bangladesh government has resorted once again to its notorious Digital Security Act-2018to muzzle freedom of expression, suing 11 individuals and arresting four of them following criticism of in the governments’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four people have been detained since 5 May 2020 under the draconian digital law, including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, writer Mushtaq […]

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 […]

SRI LANKA: Election 2019 – Hamlet without a Prince of Denmark

By Basil Fernando The 2019 election has not generated any real enthusiasm among the people. There have been the usual rituals of meetings, distribution of rice parcels, promises of other little santhosom (gifts) – those are what the sovereign people of Sri Lanka have been offered. In reality, they have been left with a beggar’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

WORLD: The launching of a new journal, SDG 16

Hong Kong, July 30, 2019 The journal with focus on the SDG 16 in particular which is “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” One of the targets of the SDG 16 is the achievement of rule of law. SDG 16 poses a serious challenges […]

SRI LANKA: Launching of a new book in Sinhala titled Neethiya and Vinaya (Law and Discipline).

Hong Kong, July 28, 2019  Launching of a new book.  Neethiya and Vinaya (Law and discipline) By Basil Fernando Publisher: Wijaysooriya Publishers, 98 pages. The AHRC announces the publication of a new book in Sinhala titled Neethiya and Vinaya (Law and Discipline). The book deals with political science theories and legal theories relating to the state duties for […]

NEPAL: Current problem of human rights violations in Nepal

A request/attention letter from Mr. Ghanshyam Chamlagain & Mr. Chetanath Chaulagain forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) We, as independent citizens, have deeply studied and evaluated the situation of human rights violations committed by the Government of Nepal and being borne by the Nepalese people. We wish to stop Nepal from the critical […]

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 […]