The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) called for the establishment of an independent body to assess the conduct and evaluate the performance of judicial officers, especially judges.

President of the BASL, President’s Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratnam also added that there should be a proper code of conduct for judicial officers including judges.

Agreeing with certain preliminary observations and recommendations made by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Monica Pinto, during her recent visit to the country, he noted that at present the offence of being in contempt of court was defined in too broad-based manner and therefore could be used in an arbitrary fashion.

“Mere seniority should not suffice in the case of promotions,” he added.

“There is at present as per our observation a very high representation of women in the minor judiciary who will in due time based on their performance come up in the judiciary. This is contrary to what Pinto has observed,” he said.