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Law Society of South Africa calls for SL Commonwealth suspension

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), called for the suspension of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth, citing Sri Lanka's "breaches of the rule of law and of the independence of the judiciary, as well as the gross harassment of members of the legal profession."

Supporting the resolution passed by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) which called on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to please Sri Lanka on the agenda of the group's upcoming meeting on Friday and suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth for "serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth fundamental values".

In a statement, the LSSA Co-Chairpersons Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu and David Bekker said:

"‘The LSSA echoes the concern of lawyers from across the Commonwealth at the continued erosion of the independence of the judiciary through the impeachment of the Chief Justice Bandaranayake at the end of last year, and the subsequent relocation of magistrates and judges in Sri Lanka; the failure of the Sri Lankan Executive to abide by court orders; and the gross and persistent harassment of members of the legal profession and others who are seeking to defend these values in Sri Lanka,’

"The LSSA expressed its grave concern in January this year at the politically motivated impeachment of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Shirani Bandaranayake, and other rule of law violations, and urged the South African Government not to remain silent in the face."

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