Guidelines for PC appointments to be gazetted soon | Sunday Observer

Guidelines for PC appointments to be gazetted soon

27 October, 2019

Eleven guidelines to be followed when appointing President’s Counsels (PCs) is to be gazetted soon according to a Supreme Court directive to the Attorney General on Friday (25).

The said guidelines were forwarded by the Attorney General and the Secretary to the President, who were named as the first and second respondents of the Fundamental Rights application filed by Senior Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma.

The Supreme Court Bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya (PC), Gamini Amarasekara and S. Thurairaja (PC) directed the Attorney General to gazette the guidelines. The guidelines propose the appointment of a three-member committee headed by the Secretary to the President to screen the applicants and check the authenticity of information provided in the applications. It further states the President may call for a report on applicants either from the Chief Justice or the Attorney General prior to selection.

However, the guidelines will not be applicable to state lawyers who have been engaging in active practice.

Accordingly, the president can consider appointing as PCs, lawyers who had contributed to the legal fraternity, excelled and maintained integrity in the profession.

Lawyers with dual citizenships, instructing attorneys and notaries will not be considered for such appointments.

A lawyer should be in active practice in any court in the country for over 20 years and a counsel should complete 15 years of practice in the Supreme Court to be eligible for the post.

Applicants also must satisfy the pre requisite of having made an active contribution to the legal profession including training junior counsels. According to the guidelines, lawyers who have been reprimanded for any disciplinary action by the Supreme Court or the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) or found guilty for professional negligence by any competent court, declared bankrupt or found guilty for any offence by a local or foreign court except for petty traffic offences will not be considered for the appointment as PCs.