Justice Minister cannot interfere with Law College admissions



Following a controversy over the Law College entrance examination results, the Ministry of Justice has stated that the Minister of Justice is not in a position to interfere with the affairs of the Law College or influence the Council of Legal Education or the Law College with regard to admission of students.


A media release issued by the Ministry said and signed by Dr. A. R. A. Hafeez, Media Secretary to Justice Minister Rauf Hakim, says: Results of the Law College entrance examination to admit students for the year 2013 have generated much discussion and have now developed into a controversy involving a number of organizations making allegations against the Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem.


The controversy was created by one Bandula Chandrasekara who claims to be the President of the National Intellectual Council. Mr. Chandrasekara alleged that selection of 78 Muslims to the Law College for the next year is unusual. According to him three Muslim students topping the batch this time and 28 Muslim students coming within the first 50 students who have been selected have also caused concern.


According to Mr. Chandrasekara the exceptionally good showing by the Muslim candidates is due to Muslim translators who had translated the question paper to the Tamil language from the original version leaking information to them (Muslim candidates). He also indirectly makes allegations against Minister Hakeem by stating he has given preferential treatment to Muslims with regard to admission of students to Law College and also in the appointment of judges and judicial staff in order to Muslimise the legal sector.


Minister Hakeem wishes to empathically deny all unfounded allegation levelled against him by political opponents and interested parties with ulterior motives. It is highly regrettable and deplorable that certain organizations are using this unfounded allegations to create inter community tensions at a time government is making serious efforts to create a climate of peace and communal harmony.


In order to set the record straight, it is stated that the Law College entrance examination is conducted by the department of examinations. All decisions regarding admission of students are in the hands of authorities of the Law College under the guidance of the Council of Legal Education.


Affairs of the Law College, including the admission of students is handled by the Council of Legal Education headed by the Chief Justice. Minister in charge of the subject of Justice has power only in respect of following matters.


1. Appointment of six members to the Council.


Minister appoints them from among persons of standing in the legal profession or persons who hold or have held judicial office or who are or have been engaged in the teaching of law or legal research or who have secured academic distinction in law or made contributions to legal knowledge.


Seven other members are appointed ex-officio and they are the Chief Justice (Chairman of the Council), Secretary to the Ministry charged with the subject of Justice, the Attorney-General, two judges of the Supreme Court, nominated by the Chief Justice, the Solicitor-General, two members nominated by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.


2. Grant concurrence to by-laws, rules and orders made by the Council of Legal Education.


3. Place before Parliament every by-law, rule or order made by the Council for approval.


In view of the above, it is clear that the Minister of Justice is not in a position to interfere with the affairs of the Law College or influence the Council of Legal Education or the Law College with regard to admission of students or any matter connected with the administration of the Law College of Sri Lanka.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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