The seminar was organised in partnership with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.
From 22 – 24 October 2021, the Foundation hosted the third seminar in a six-part seminar series for lawyers in Sri Lanka. It addressed international human rights law with a specific focus on select economic, social, and cultural rights.
The Seminar commenced with an introduction to international human rights law and also the particularities of economic, social, and cultural rights. Following this, the participants engaged in a session about strategic litigation. These initial presentations contextualised discussions about substantive economic, social and cultural rights. Four subsets of this category of rights were explored during the Seminar, namely: the right to just and favourable conditions of work and the right to social security; rights associated with land; the right to take part in cultural life and language rights in the context of cultural rights; and the right to adequate housing.
During the seminar participants discussed economic, social and cultural rights issues relevant to Sri Lanka. Participants were presented with true-to-life scenarios where human rights were at stake and they identified the best strategic and human rights-based approaches with a series of questions. The exercises encouraged robust and thought-provoking discussions about the relationship between international human rights law and the Sri Lankan domestic legal system.
Throughout the Seminar, staff from the Max Planck Foundation were joined by two Sri Lankan co-trainers: Mr Indika Wickramasuriya and Mr Faris Saly. Mr Wickramasuriya and Mr Saly lent invaluable local expertise to the programme as they are previous participants in the Foundation’s Training-of-Trainers activity for senior lawyers in Sri Lanka.
The Seminar was opened and closed by the Honourable Secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Mr Rajeev Amarasuriya, who emphasised the importance of such programmes for both junior and senior legal practitioners. Further Seminars on this topic will be convened for lawyers located in provinces around Sri Lanka over the course of 2022.