We the undersigned, note with concern, the methods by which the Constitution of Sri Lanka is being interpreted to justify the appointment of a purported Prime Minister on the 26th of October, a Cabinet of Ministers and the dissolution of Parliament thereafter. As members of the legal profession who practice and/or teach law, we wish to recall that each of us has a responsibility to uphold the rule of law, respect for fundamental rights and promote justice in carrying out our professional responsibilities. Making selective references to provisions of the Constitution to justify the actions and/or intended actions of the President in complete disregard of fundamental rules of constitutional interpretation is contrary to our professional ethics. It has the effect of confusing and misleading the public. The public look to professionals in forming their opinion, particularly at times such as this. The Law as a discipline recognizes that it is possible in many instances to adopt different and even contrasting interpretations. The current discussions regarding the constitutionality of the actions and intended actions of the President since the 26th of October however do not involve constitutional provisions that lead to such contrasting interpretations. Even if contrasting interpretations of constitutional texts are possible, the Law requires that the interpretation that promotes the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights be adopted. The Constitution is not a mere document that can be interpreted at will or according to its black letter meaning. Rather, the Constitution must be interpreted within the spirit of constitutionalism, and with utmost regard to fundamental norms of a constitutional democracy. We owe a duty to the public to be honest in our interpretations of the Constitution and that we refer to all the relevant provisions – demonstrating professionalism, integrity and decency. Lawyers making interventions in the public domain on matters that are decisive in determining the future of Sri Lanka’s constitutional democracy, have a responsibility to bear these ethical and professional obligations in mind.

1. Dinusha Abeyesundere, Attorney-at-Law
2. Mohamed Adamaly, Attorney-at-Law
3. Geoffrey Alagaratnam, PC
4. Shermila Antony, Attorney-at-Law
5. Kaushalya Ariyarathne, Attorney-at-Law
6. Vijula Arulanantham, Attorney-at-Law
7. Sarah Arumugam, Attorney-at-Law
8. Nirosha Babapulle, Attorney-at-Law
9. Prasansani Bandaranayake, Attorney-at-Law
10. S A Beling, Attorney-at-Law
11. Viran Corea, Attorney-at-Law
12. Dr Sunil Cooray, Attorney-at-Law
13. Johann Corera, Attorney-at-Law
14. Shalomi Daniel, Attorney-at-Law
15. Shiloma David, Attorney-at-Law
16. Chanaka de Silva, Attorney-at-Law
17. Rhadeena de Alwis, Attorney-at-Law
18. Sarita de Fonseka, Attorney-at-Law
19. Rohan Dunuwille, Attorney-at-Law
20. Ameer Faaiz, Attorney-at-Law
21. Inshira Faliq, Attorney-at-Law
22. Bhavani Fonseka, Attorney-at-Law
23. B Gowthaman, Attorney-at-Law
24. Luwie Ganeshathasan, Attorney-at-Law
25. Lasantha Y Garusinghe, Attorney-at-Law
26. C Ranitha Gnanarajah, Attorney-at-Law
27. Sankhitha Gunaratne, Attorney-at-Law
28. Radika Gunaratne, Attorney-at-Law
29. Gehan Gunatilleke, Attorney-at-Law
30. MAM Hakeem, Attorney-at-Law
31. Lakmali Hemachandra, Attorney-at-Law
32. Roshaan Hettiaratchi, Attorney-at-Law
33. Mokshini Jayamanne, Attorney-at-Law
34. Uween Jayasinha, Attorney-at-Law
35. Pamoda Jayasundera, Attorney-at-Law
36. Kishani Jayasooriya, Attorney-at-Law
37. Shamalie Jayatunge, Attorney-at-Law
38. Priyadarsheni Jesudason
39. Azra Jiffry, Attorney-at-Law
40. Diloka Kamalgoda, Attorney-at-Law
41. Upul Kumarapperuma, Attorney-at-Law
42. Javed Mansoor, Attorney-at-Law
43. Rasika Mendis, Attorney-at-Law
44. Vidya Nathaniel, Attorney-at-Law
45. Harindi Palkumbura, Attorney-at-Law
46. Ruvini Perera, Attorney-at-Law
47. Champika Perera, Attorney-at-Law
48. Binendri Perera, Attorney-at-Law
49. Thiagi Piyadasa, Attorney-at-Law
50. Sanjayan Rajasingham, Attorney-at-Law
51. Dhanushka Rajaratnam, Attorney-at-Law
52. Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga, Attorney-at-Law
53. Shalini Samarakkody, Attorney-at-Law
54. Aruna Samarajewa, Attorney-at-Law
55. Dr Dinesha Samararatne, Attorney-at-Law
56. Dr Kalana Senaratne
57. Harindi Seneviratne, Attorney-at-Law
58. Sharya Scharenguivel (Former Professor of Law)
59. Ermiza Tegal, Attorney-at-Law
60. Sushmitha Thayanandan, Attorney-at-Law
61. Romali Tudawe, Attorney-at-Law
62. S Hamsakanambiha Vamadeva, Attorney-at-Law
63. Deanne Uyangoda, Attorney-at-Law
64. JC Weliamuna PC
65. Dr Asanga Welikala
66. Subhashini Weerakkody, Attorney-at-Law
67. Thishya Weragoda, Attorney-at-Law
68. Thalatha Wcikramasinghe, Attorney-at-Law
69. Dr Aritha Wikramanayake, Attorney-at-Law
70. Khyati Wikramanayake, Attorney-at-Law
71. Eric D Wikramanayake, Attorney-at-Law
72. Pubudini Wickramaratne, Attorney-at-Law
73. Nishadi Wickremasinghe, Attorney-at-Law
74. Shanil Wijesinha, Attorney-at-Law
75. V. Yogeswaran, Attorney-at-Law