August 26, 2019
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    Speaker tables CC CRITERIA

    February 09, 2019

    The first report of the Constitutional Council (CC) which stipulates the criteria to approve persons for independent commissions and judges to the superior courts was tabled by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in Parliament yesterday.The report was initially tabled in 2016, but it was tabled again for the information of the MPs as many MPs questioned on the criteria followed in approving the nominations received to the CC.

    The report spells out several criteria to be looked at when appointing the President of the Court of Appeal. Whether the nominee is “a Judge of the Appeal Court (normally the most senior judge)” is the first among them. Whether he/she possesses a service experience of a minimum 25 years as an attorney-at-law, whether the person has a successful professional career, and whether he/she is a practitioner of the Unofficial Bar who is held in high regard by judges and in the profession of law and whether the nominee has at least held the post of Solicitor General,” are the other criteria mentioned.

    The report also states that the nominee, if he/she is not the most senior judge, must not be over 62 years of age. The report further states that the CC decided to “conduct both a quantitative and qualitative evaluation” when selecting the Chairpersons and members of the independent commissions. “The most important criteria were integrity, independence and non-partisanship. The second most important criterion was professional experience that was relevant for the work of the commission,” the report added.

    It also says that the maturity, diversity in terms of ethnicity and gender were also factors that were taken into consideration in appointments. The criteria looked at when appointing the Chief Justice includes whether the nominee is a Judge of the Supreme Courts (generally the most senior judge), whether he/she had held the post of Attorney General, whether he/she is a practitioner who has at least 30 years standing, whether he/she has a successful practice, whether he/she is held in high regard by the judges and the legal professional and whether his/her age is below 62 years.

    When it comes to the appointment of IGP, the nominee should be a Senior DIG who has had a continuous service in the police force. The other criteria in selecting the IGP are related to the experience.

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