First Human Rights Workshop for Lawyers in Sri Lanka

The Foundation delivers Human Rights Workshop in the Southern Province in cooperation with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka

From 24-25 August 2019, the Max Planck Foundation conducted a workshop in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka in partnership with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. The workshop was attended by lawyers from the Galle, Matara, Tangalle and Elpitiya Bars.

The 25th President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Mr Kalinga Indatissa PC, gave opening remarks at the workshop, encouraging lawyers to advance their knowledge of human rights. Presentations on various aspects of international human rights law were made by the Foundation with a focus on civil and political rights. Prominent public interest litigator, Mr Ravindranath Dabare, additionally presented on litigating human rights cases before the courts at both the provincial and national level in Sri Lanka.

The workshop programme covered a wide spectrum of civil and political rights, including fair trial rights and qualified rights, such as freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of association and assembly. The trainers also addressed international law pertaining to equality and non-discrimination, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the rights of persons with disabilities. Each of the rights were discussed in detail, including their definition, scope and implementation on international and local levels. The lawyers engaged in lively discussions and studied examples on the enforcement of these rights. The workshop also explored challenges the lawyers face in litigating rights in the court system.

This workshop is the first of six to be held in partnership with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka at the provincial level as part of the German Federal Foreign Office funded project, “Capacity Building for Judges and Lawyers in Sri Lanka“. The next workshop is due to take place in Nuwara Eliya, Central Province in September 2019.