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Foreign judges cannot adjudicate culpability of our citizens: Tilak Marapana

Tilak Marapana 700 04
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana has stated that without legislation, we can’t have foreign judges to sit in tribunals and adjudicate the culpability of our citizens.

Minister Tilak Marapana was speaking on Tuesday at the Committee Stage Debate of Budget 2019.

He said:

“In the absence of legal provisions, the Government of Sri Lanka will not allow hybrid tribunals to be established in Sri Lanka, or for foreign judges to adjudicate possible culpability of Sri Lankans over war crime and human rights violations. Sri Lanka has given no promises to establish hybrid courts allowing foreign judges in the country. I need not talk much about the UNHRC session, which was already carried in media. But one thing should be made clear especially on the hybrid country. I don’t think it was promised to foreigners.

No matter how large the desire, we are unable to accept an ordinary person as a physician and allow him to do surgery by amending the medical ordinance. This is not possible even with a referendum and a 2/3 majority, the Supreme Court will never allow that legislation to pass. We can’t amend our aircraft ordinances to permit people not having pilot licenses to fly aeroplanes. So, in the same way, when we speak of foreign judges, we don’t know what their qualifications are. Those foreign judges adjudicating culpability of Sri Lankans. They should fall within the local qualifications and other parameters.

In the first place for a person to be appointed a judge, he should have the basic qualification of Attorney at Law. Even the foreign medical specialists have to pass the Act 16 exam here in Sri Lanka. The foreign specialist could be a very eminent personality, but competencies must be checked here first. In my statement in UNHRC what I referred was that it may need a 2/3 majority and a referendum. I am not sure having those two alone will help to pass legislation.”





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