'Judge's role pivotal in administering justice'
A Judge's role is to serve the community as it has a pivotal role in
administering justice, said Attorney General, President's Counsel Mohan
Pieris at the ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court to welcome the two
new Judges, Justice Sathya Hettige, President's Counsel and Justice
Priyasath Dep, President's Counsel.
"I must begin by offering each of the newly appointed Judges my
congratulations, not only on your elevation but also on your acceptance
of an office which is of pivotal social importance, and your willingness
to extend much of your time and energy in performing its duties," the
Attorney General said.
A Judge will not succeed and will not find satisfaction in his or her
duties unless there is a continued realization of the importance of the
community service that is rendered. Freedom, peace, order and good
governance which are essential qualities of the society depend in the
ultimate analysis on the faithful performance of the judicial duty', the
The Attorney General emphasised that the two new Judges, Justice
Sathya Hettige and Justice Piyasath Dep, take their rightful place in
the Supreme Court. "We feel elated and justifiably proud of the long and
arduous journey that has brought them to the pinnacle of the judicial
office. Lord Atkin writing in his autobiography, makes a remarkable
statement - 'one must live one's life backwards and forwards'. It is in
this context that on an august occasion such as this, it is important to
remember the past times of the two Judges," he said.
Justice Sathya Hettige, President's Counsel had the distinction of
becoming the President of the Court of Appeal, directly from his onerous
position of then senior most Additional Solicitor General.
It is an appointment which perpetuated an established tradition which
was observed in the case of another Additional Solicitor General who
today occupies a seat in the Supreme Court, he added.
"Justice Hettige's achievement in making it to the Supreme Court
reminds us of his long years of public service. Justice Hettige secured
his LLB Degree from the Faculty of Law from the University of Colombo
and qualified as an Attorney-at-Law in 1976 with First Class Honours.
He joined the Attorney General's department in 1978 and his long
years of service in the department saw him evolve into both a prosecutor
and a civil counsel for the State. There was not a single court that
Justice Hettige did not traverse as a State Counsel, he said.
Justice Sathya Hettige served as Principal Law Officer in the
Director of Public Prosecutions, Fiji Islands and was enroled as a
Barrister and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Fiji Islands, on March
Justice Priyasath Dep had his primary and secondary education at St
Joseph College, Colombo, where I had the privilege of knowing him as a
contemporary, the AG said.
I remember Justice Dep as an all-rounder who excelled in studies,
athletics, rugby and soccer. After a brilliant school career, Justice
Dep went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies at the
University of Colombo where he represented the university in rugby and
cricket, the Attorney General said.
Justice Dep was one of those few officers who indulged in both
divisions of the Law.
As a Civil Counsel, Justice Dep appeared practically in every court
ranging from District Court to the Supreme Court.
It is worthy of mention that Justice Dep was the beneficiary of a
scholarship, granted by the Dutch Government that enabled him to acquire
a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Law at the institute of Social
Studies in The Hague.
In 1991 Justice Dep was enroled as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court
of England. "I record with pleasure, your constant desire to write -what
they would say in Latin -CACOETHES SCRIBENDI-. The itch to write,
resulted in a number of articles which elucidated many a principle of
law and Justice Dep certainly inherited this skill from his late father
Deputy Inspector General of Police Arthur C. Dep, who authored nearly
five books and numerous articles despite his busy schedule," the
Attorney General added.