Justice should prevail
Daily Mirror Editorial
Nov 17, 2011

In established democracies, impartial judiciary has been playing the role of people’s saviour since time immemorial. When looking at the rights and freedoms assured by the Constitution and the legal protection they are being provided with, Sri Lanka looks as good as any other country which runs on cemented democratic principles; yet, the real picture says otherwise.

At a time when the executive is exhibiting a kind of obduracy that is not suitable for a democratically elected government and the legislature does not act on the aspirations of its people, the judiciary has been their sole consolation that assures that there is still a tinge of democracy prevailing.

Be it a case of violation of rights or a draft of legislation, it has been the duty of the judiciary to assure the wellbeing of the people and see that their rights and freedoms are secured. Despite the constitution that entrusts the country’s ultimate power to its people, and the courts of law whose independence is constitutionally affirmed, people seem to be losing their faith in the prevailing system; the danger of which can hardly be ignored.

Regardless of people’s awareness on seeking legal aid, the public opinion seems to be that justice has become a luxury they could ill afford. At any rate, justice cannot be an extravagance of a privileged few but provisional when it comes to ordinary citizens. It should be equal to all the citizens despite their ethnicities, social status and political beliefs. The basic principle that everyone is equal in front of law should not be mere line in a law book.

In the endeavour of restoring people’s faith, the executive and legislature should make sure that the country’s courts of law are being granted the required freedom in the process of meting out justice. If there is interference by such institutions it will hardly contribute to the democratic principles on which the state is founded.

If not, the day the people appoint themselves as the judge, jury and executioner will not be far away.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka