Justice is to give everyone his legal due: Justice Ratnayake
Ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court
Justice P. A. Ratnayake PC who was welcomed as a Judge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday the 29th said he hoped the legal system would keep pace with the changes in time by setting precedents in commercial law and by building up in areas such as information technology law.
|Seated at extreme right Justice Ratnayake the newest member of the Supreme Court. Photo taken on the occassion of the ceremonial sitting of Court to welcome Justice Ratnayake .
“Today information technology law is the backbone of commerce or ‘e-commerce’ as it is more appropriately called”, he said, adding that the progression in their field is so rapid that there is now an active discourse in the application of all the traditional subjects of law such as taxation, conflict of laws, law of contracts, intellectual property, law of defamation etc., focused only with reference to information technology.
“I doubt if we have kept pace with it and at any rate done enough to build up the legal jurisprudence relating to it in contrast to other comparative jurisdictions in the region”, he said.
Referring to other areas of commercial law that warrant similar sentiments, Justice Ratnayake emphasized space law, which is now of considerable importance particularly in light of the country planning to launch its own satellite.
“The legal jurisprudence relating to law of the sea and law of shipping is another topic that has similarly not kept pace with changes in time”, he said. “I do hope we can arrest these trends by setting precedents in commercial law that set the water marks for legal jurisprudence in the region”, he added.
Justice Ratnayake urged all members of the legal profession to keep pace with the development in the law.“The quality of judgments that we may pronounce are to a considerable degree contingent on the quality and innovativeness of legal research and submissions of counsel. Therefore, I subscribe to the belief that all the members of the legal profession should endeavour to keep abreast with the developments in the law”, he said.
Justice and impartiality are essential to ensure that the public continue to have trust in the legal profession, he said.“Justice is the unfailing disposition to give everyone his legal due. To do this we have to expound and interpret the law and it must be done honestly, fairly, patiently, attentively and with impartially, without fear or favour. These are essential prerequisites for the people to continue to repose their trust and confidence in us” Justice Ratnayaka said.
Citing the Dhammapada, Justice Ratnayake said, “whoever judges hastily does not uphold the Dhamma, a wise one should investigate the truth and untruth”.