ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday October 7, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 19

SC ruling on 3 urgent bills sent to Speaker, President

The Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of three urgent bills including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Bill, has been sent to the Speaker and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President had referred the Bills to the Supreme Court and the determination would be announced in Parliament this week. The bills are scheduled to be taken up for debate in Parliament this week.

This ICCPR came into force in 1976 and Sri Lanka gave accession to it in 1980. The new Bill will give effect to certain articles in the ICCPR on civil and political rights relating to human rights which had not been given recognition through legislative measures in Sri Lanka so far.

Under the provisions of the Bill, any war propaganda or any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence would be prohibited by law. Those who attempt to commit, abet or threaten to commit any of these acts would be guilty of a non-bailable offence under this act.

However the fate of these Bills will depend on the Supreme Court’s determination on their constitutionality. If they are found inconsistent with the Constitution, a two third majority would be needed to approve the Bills.

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