Upul Jayasuriya wins Commonwealth Award
The Commonwealth Lawyers Association on Thursday 16th, awarded the 2nd Commonwealth Rule of Law award to the leading lawyer, President of the Bar Association and the Chairman of Board of Investments (BOI) of Sri Lanka. Upul Jayasuriya.
Upul Jayasuriya was selected by a five member judging panel of leading judges and lawyers in England.
The statement issued by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association says that "Upul Jayasuriya's contribution has inspired and influenced others around the Commonwealth over the last two years"
Upul Jayasuriya initiated a General Meeting of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on 18th December2012 attended by over 3000 lawyers. On 20th February 2013 he was elected President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka with the highest ever majority in the history of the Bar Association against a candidate fully backed by the former government. At the induction ceremony of the BASL, held on 30th March 2013, of which traditionally the Chief Guest is the sitting Chief Justice, Upul Jayasuriya took a bold decision by inviting the de jure Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake instead of the de facto CJ.
He led the Bar, and continued to fight against the then Executive on every occasion there was a serious break down of the rule of law. When judges were handpicked, and judicial appointments were made in total disregard to the rules of appointment he was daring enough to say that it was wrong, even at the ceremonial sitting of those appointed Judges. Sometimes his personal safety was at risk. But he was unaffected.