The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has appointed a committee of senior lawyers to review the legality and the consequences of the new anti-terrorism bill.
This panel is tasked with reporting to the BASL’s management committee after studying the anti-terrorism bill published in the government gazette on March 22.
This bill seeks to abolish the prevention of terrorism act (PTA) and introduce an anti-terrorism act.
The BASL said it is firmly of the view that no legislation should be introduced to curtail and/or suppress, directly or indirectly the fundamental rights of citizens, enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
It cautioned that the bill, if passed into law, will have far-reaching effects.
The BASL noted the bill was published in the gazette without adequate consultations with the relevant stakeholders including the BASL.
It urged the government to consider deferring the bill until there is a wider stakeholder consultation and the concerns of stakeholders including the BASL are taken into account.
The BASL added that it would not hesitate to challenge any Bill that would deem to undermine the Rule of Law and the Liberty of the citizens in the country.