Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Who will be the next CJ?

With Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva to retire on June 7, the legal circle is abuzz with speculation as to who would occupy the highest seat in Sri Lanka’s judiciary. Meanwhile a simple ceremony was held at the Hultsdrop Court premises this morning to honour the outgoing Sri Lankan Chief Justice.

Meanwhile legal sources say that several names of top rankers in the judicial sector have been suggested to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pick a successor to the CJ. These include a senior minister who has been engaged in the legal field for more than twenty years.

Sarath Nanda Silva, receive his Primary and Secondary education at Trinity College in Kandy and then entered the Sri Lanka Law College. He holds a Master of Laws degree Magna Cum Laude from the University of Brussels. He was admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in June 1967 and commenced his career in the Attorney General’s department in 1968 as a Crown Counsel. He was promoted to Senior State Counsel in 1975 and Deputy Solicitor-General in 1979. Appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 1987, he became the President of the Court of Appeal in 1994.

Justice Silva served under the Chandrika Kumaratunga regime as Attorney-General in 1996 and was appointed a President’s Counsel the same year.

His appointment as Chief Justice evoked widespread protest in the media, mainly because he was not the most senior judge in Sri Lanka. During last few years he had given many controversial Supreme Court decisions.

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