Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CEJ New case- challenging the constitutionality of the North Western Province Environmental Statute

July 14 2006,Colombo, Mr. Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) of 59/14, Kuruppu Road, Colombo 08 has filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal challenging the constitutionality of the North Western Province Environmental Statute. The application was supported today (14th July 2006) by Counsel Dr. Mangala Wijesinghe appearing with Attorneys Ravindranath Dabare and Ms. Nilmal Wickramasinge, before a bench comprising Justices Sripavan and Abrew.

The North Western Province Environmental Statute No. 12 of 1990 was purportedly made by the North Western Provincial Council following the enactment of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of 1987. The Petitioner stated in his application to the Court that there is no law made by Parliament empowering Provincial Councils to make Statutes for the protection the environment and therefore the North Western Province Environmental Statute is unconstitutional, and sought a writ of certiorari to quash the said statute.

After hearing the submissions made by Counsel for the Petitioner, the Court suggested that because of the constitutional significance of the matter the Attorney General be noticed to appear as amicus curiae. Accordingly, notice was issued on the Attorney General and the matter was re-fixed for support on 24.08 2006. The other Respondents to the application are the Chief Minister of the North Western Provincial Council, Governor of the North Western Province, North Western Province Environmental Authority, Central Environmental Authority, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government and the Speaker of Parliament.

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Nilmal Wikramasinghe, Legal Officer)
Dilena Pathragoda, Director Projects)