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Dinesha BA Provisional Evaluation of the Contribution of the Supreme Court to Political Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka (May 2009-August 2012)ook

Dinesha BA Provisional Evaluation of the Contribution of the Supreme Court to Political Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka (May 2009-August 2012)ook

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Published by ColomboICES
The imperative for political reconciliation re-emerged in the Sri Lankan public landscape with the
end of hostilities in May 2009. In that context, this paper seeks to foreground the mandate and
actual contribution of the Sri Lankan judiciary with regard to political reconciliation by considering
three questions. One, whether the judiciary in a democratic society can and/or ought to engage
with the question of political reconciliation and two, whether the Sri Lankan judiciary has such a
mandate within the existing constitutional framework. Through an assessment of some current
thinking on the question of political reconciliation in general and particularly through the
capabilities approach, it is argued that Sri Lankan judiciary does have a mandate to contribute
towards political reconciliation. The third question considered in the paper is whether, the
Supreme Court has in fact engaged with the question of political reconciliation. Through an
examination of Special Determinations of the Supreme Court and jurisprudence on Fundamental
Rights during May 2009 to August 2012, it is argued that while some contribution has been made,
by and large the Court has been cautious in its approach, leaving many possibilities unexplored.
Dinesha Samararatne, LL B (Hons) (Colombo), LL M (Harvard), Attorney-at-Law, is a Lecturer
attached to the Department of Public & International Law, Faculty of Law of University of
Colombo, Sri Lanka where she teaches human rights law and administrative law. She is a former
Fulbright scholar and is currently a Visiting Fellow of the Gilbert+Tobin Centre for Public Law of
the Faculty of Law of the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research interests are in
public law and some of her recent published work has been in relation to the public trust doctrine,
public interest litigation and the right to liberty. Her current research is with regard to the social
contract theory, sovereignty and the rule of law as they relate to the Sri Lankan context.
The imperative for political reconciliation re-emerged in the Sri Lankan public landscape with the
end of hostilities in May 2009. In that context, this paper seeks to foreground the mandate and
actual contribution of the Sri Lankan judiciary with regard to political reconciliation by considering
three questions. One, whether the judiciary in a democratic society can and/or ought to engage
with the question of political reconciliation and two, whether the Sri Lankan judiciary has such a
mandate within the existing constitutional framework. Through an assessment of some current
thinking on the question of political reconciliation in general and particularly through the
capabilities approach, it is argued that Sri Lankan judiciary does have a mandate to contribute
towards political reconciliation. The third question considered in the paper is whether, the
Supreme Court has in fact engaged with the question of political reconciliation. Through an
examination of Special Determinations of the Supreme Court and jurisprudence on Fundamental
Rights during May 2009 to August 2012, it is argued that while some contribution has been made,
by and large the Court has been cautious in its approach, leaving many possibilities unexplored.
Dinesha Samararatne, LL B (Hons) (Colombo), LL M (Harvard), Attorney-at-Law, is a Lecturer
attached to the Department of Public & International Law, Faculty of Law of University of
Colombo, Sri Lanka where she teaches human rights law and administrative law. She is a former
Fulbright scholar and is currently a Visiting Fellow of the Gilbert+Tobin Centre for Public Law of
the Faculty of Law of the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research interests are in
public law and some of her recent published work has been in relation to the public trust doctrine,
public interest litigation and the right to liberty. Her current research is with regard to the social
contract theory, sovereignty and the rule of law as they relate to the Sri Lankan context.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: ColomboICES on Jun 04, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/04/2013

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ICES Research Papers
 
Research Paper No: 5March 2013
A Provisional Evaluation of the Contribution of theSupreme Court to Political Reconciliation inPost-War Sri Lanka (May 2009-August 2012)
Dinesha Samararatne

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