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Sri Lanka chief justice appeals parliamentary findings of misconduct

Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on Wednesday appealed the findings of a parliamentary committee which concluded she was guilty [JURIST report] of three charges of misconduct. Bandaranayake claims she was not given an adequate opportunity to defend herself [Colombo Page report] against the charges. She is asking the Court of Appeal [Business Standard report] to declare the committee's findings illegal and order parliament to suspend any further proceedings against her, pending appeal. Parliament is set to vote on the impeachment when it reconvenes next month, and then President Mahinda Rajapaksa would have ultimate authority to dismiss Bandaranayake.

Earlier this month a group of judges got together to call for impartiality in the impeachment proceedings which began [JURIST reports] in November. The impeachment of Bandaranayake has sparked heavy criticism among Sri Lanka's citizens. Last month the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers urged [JURIST report] Sri Lanka to take appropriate measures to protect the country's judiciary from threats, intimidation and physical attacks. Earlier last month hundreds of Sri Lankan lawyers and citizens protested [JURIST report] on the street in Colombo calling the government to halt to the impeachment proceedings.

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