Rule of law

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: Competent judicial professionals needed to administer justice to victims of international crimes

An Oral Statement to the 18th Session of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, and Excellencies: First of all, please allow me to reaffirm that the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) stand by the International Criminal Court […]

PAKISTAN: Activist languishing in jail a month after his arrest on trumped up charges

One month since Professor Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained, he is still languishing in prison on trumped-up charges of ‘hate speech’, ‘spreading false information’ and ‘cyberterrorism’. CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) calls on the Pakistan authorities to halt his persecution and release him immediately and unconditionally. 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 […]

SRI LANKA: අශ්වයා පණ අදිද් දී ජොකියා වීමට පොරකෑම

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු පාලකයෙකු පත් කර ගන්නේ රාජ්‍ය තන්ත‍්‍රය ජනතා සුභසිද්ධිය සදහා කි‍්‍රයාත්මක කරවා ගැනීම සදහාය. දැන් කලක සිටම ලංකාවේ පවතින ප‍්‍රධානම ප‍්‍රශ්නය නම් රාජ්‍ය තන්ත‍්‍රය පණ අදින තත්ත්වයක පසුවීමය. මූල්‍ය කටයුතු පිළිබඳ අංශයේ වුවත්, නිෂ්පාදන අංශයේ වුවත්, ආරක්ෂක අංශයේ වුවත්, යුක්තිය පසිඳලීමේ යෙදී සිටින ආයතන වල වුවත්, සුබසාධන පිළිබඳ අංශයේ එනම් සෞඛ්‍ය, අධ්‍යාපනය, වැඩිහිටියන් හා […]

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: Geneva Meeting on the Goal 16 of SDG and the spirit of 1980 Gwangju uprising

Statement | World | 02-10-2019

A side event was held in UN Human Rights Council premises on the 23rd of September. It was sponsored by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and the May 18 Foundation, South Korea. It was also supported by the Right Livelihood Foundation, CIVICUS (Geneva) and the International Bridges to Justice, also based in Geneva. Ambassador […]

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 […]

BANGLADESH: Claim of economic growth without protection of human rights is a fallacy

An Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) Madam Vice President. The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) wishes this Council to address some questions relating to enforcement of human rights, comprehensively. The issue of a State, which ratifies the United Nations’ treaties […]

MYANMAR/BANGLADESH: Rights, dignity, and future of genocide survivors at stake

A Joint Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LWRC) Mr. President, The Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada thank the Special Rapporteur for her oral update. The Council is well aware of the […]

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

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 […]

CAMBODIA: The roots of Cambodia’s persistent rights violations: Impunity of the powerful

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 Human rights in the Kingdom of Cambodia have remained a constant concern for decades, but recent years have seen marked deterioration of respect, protection and fulfilment […]

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, […]