BASL writes to IGP over protest against Saliya Peiris
The BAR Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has condemned a protest staged outside the Law of Chamber of BASL President Saliya Pieris, PC on Friday.The protest was staged against the representation of Saliya Pieris, PC for notorious Sri Lankan drug kingpin Nadun Chinthaka alias “Harak Kata”.
Condemning the protest, BASL said in a statement that Saliya Pieris, PC was only conducting his professional duties with regard to a particular client.
“We are of the view the said protest seriously hinders his right to represent a client, a professional right which has been safeguarded by law,” it pointed out.
The BASL called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take action to ensure that Saliya Peiris’s professional duties as an Attorney-at-law, are not hindered and to ensure his safety.
Full text of the letter: ” We write with reference to an organized protest outside the chamber of Mr Saliya Pieris, President of the \Bar Association of Sri Lanka.
We have been made aware the said protest relates to Mr. Pieris conducting his professional duties with regard to a particular client. We are of the view the said protest seriously hinders his right to represent a client, a professional right which has been safeguarded by law.In the case of Wijesundara Mudiyanselage Naveen Nayantha Bandara Wijesundara v Sirwardena and Others (SCFR 13/2019), the Supreme Court observed that:
“The first piece of legislation passed by the Parliament soon after the promulgation of the 1978 Constitution was the Judicature Act No. 02 of 1978. As the administration of justice in any civilized society cannot be effectively implemented without lawyers, the legislature in its wisdom, through the Judicature Act, established the legal profession.
Thus, there is no dispute that the legal profession is a sine qua non for the due administration of justice in this country and for that matter in any civilized society. The said profession is essential for the maintenance of the Rule of Law and maintenance of law and order and its due existence is of paramount importance to the organized functioning of the society which is primarily the basis for the smooth functioning of the country as a whole.”
Further, Section 41 of the Judicature Act which has clearly set out the right of representation, and, has further shed light on the above mechanism established for implementing the administration of justice in the country.
It is as follows; Section 41 of the Judicature Act (Right of Representation)
(1) Every attorney-at-law shall be entitled to assist and advise clients and to appear, plead or act in every court or other institution established by law for the administration of justice and every person who is a party to or has or claims to have the right to be heard in any proceeding in any such court or other such institution shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney-at-law.
(2) Every person who is a party to any proceeding before any person or tribunal exercising quasi-judicial powers and every person who has or claims to have the right to be heard before any such person or tribunal shall unless otherwise”
Therefore, we strongly demand that you take action to ensure that Mr. Peiris’s professional duties as an Attorney-at-law, are not hindered and to ensure his safety.”