Centre for Policy Alternatives on 5 November, 2016

CPA Working Papers on Constitutional Reform: Number 8 and 9

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The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is pleased to publish two further papers in the CPA Working Papers on Constitutional Reform series.
Working Paper No.8, Civil and Political Rights in the Sri Lankan Constitution and Law: Making the New Constitution in Compliance with the ICCPR by Rohan Edrisinha and Asanga Welikala is a detailed and critical examination of the compliance of current Sri Lankan constitutional law with the primary instrument of Sri Lanka’s international obligations with regard to civil and political rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The paper’s extensive audit of the Sri Lankan law points to the concrete areas, both substantive and procedural, in which the makers of the new constitution should focus their attention if it is to reflect a body of civil and political rights that is consistent with basic international standards. Political expectations of democratisation generated by the 2015 elections also demand that the new constitution should afford the fullest and firmest protection to these core rights, including the addition of the fundamental rights to life and human dignity, privacy, and property, without which neither democracy nor good governance is achievable.
Working Paper No.9, A Rights-based Approach to Limitation Clauses in the Sri Lankan Constitution by Gehan Gunatilleke discusses the crucial question of how to design the framework of limitations and derogations in the future constitutional bill of rights. Placed within a clear theoretical context, and drawing upon principles of comparative and international human rights law, the paper critically examines the current restrictions regime before presenting a fresh approach to designing and interpreting limitation clauses, rooted in the concept of the ‘rights and freedoms of others.’