Supreme Court of Sri Lanka curbs President’s power in Judicial Appointments

Supreme Court Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court today (April 30) issued an interim order effective until October 4, preventing the President from nominating judges to the Supreme Court other than the Chief Justice.

The Supreme Court made this decision in response to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by lawyer Sarith Maheeputhra Pathirathne.

The petitioner sought an order directing the Constitutional Council to approve the President’s recommendation to appoint the incumbent President of the Court of Appeal, Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, as a Supreme Court judge.

The petitioner named members of the Constitutional Council, including Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Sagara Kariyawasam, and several others as respondents.

The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprised Justices S. Thurairaja, A.H.M.D. Nawaz, and Shiran Goonaratne. Faizer Mustapha PC, with Counsel Saheeda Barrie, Mehran Careem, Naveen Maha Arachchige, and Amila Perera instructed by Sanjeewa Kaluarachchi, appeared for the petitioner.

The hearing of the petition is scheduled for October 4, 2024.