PRESS RELEASE: Launch of South Asia Judicial Barometer

PRESS RELEASE: Launch of South Asia Judicial Barometer

(Colombo, 1 December 2017) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its member, Law and Society Trust (LST) are pleased to share the first South Asia Judicial Barometer, which was launched on 27 November 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The South Asia Judicial Barometer is a regional assessment of access to justice and the judiciary in South Asia. It was conceived in 2015 as a collaborative research project between LST and FORUM-ASIA.

FORUM-ASIA and LST believe that economic progress and sustainability in Asia, and especially South Asia, depend greatly on assurance of the rule of law. The challenges that South Asia faces must be documented, and Governments must be held accountable, in order for real changes to be achieved and political will to be fostered.

In this context, LST proposed to publish a series of publications, to be named the South Asia Judicial Barometer together with its partner organisations in the region and in collaboration with FORUM-ASIA.

The publication aims to: increase understanding on how the judiciary in South Asian countries interacts with, shapes and is shaped by key social, economic and political developments; highlight how the institutional architecture and normative context of the judiciary is implicated in the judiciary’s encounters with key social, economic and political developments; and map the major ideological orientations or contestations driving the rule of law regime and the social character of the judiciary in South Asia.

The South Asia Judicial Barometer, in its first issue, contains chapters from five South Asian countries, and a brief note on Pakistan. The five countries that are included are: India; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka; Nepal; and Bhutan. Additionally, four main issues are highlighted in the publication: labour rights; rights of minority groups; freedom of speech and association; and national security and terrorism. These issues were proposed, because they are of key concern in all South Asian countries at the moment, and also reflect the priority areas of work of LST and FORUM-ASIA.

You can find a copy of the publication here.


FORUM-ASIA is a regional human rights group with 58 member organisations in 19 countries across Asia. FORUM-ASIA has offices in Bangkok, Jakarta, Geneva and Kathmandu. FORUM-ASIA addresses key areas of human rights violations in the region, including freedoms of expression, assembly and association, human rights defenders, and democratisation.

The Law and Society Trust is a not-for-profit organisation engaged in human rights documentation, legal research and advocacy in Sri Lanka. Its aim is to use rights-based strategies in research, documentation and advocacy in order to promote and protect human rights, enhance public accountability and respect for the rule of law.

For further information, please contact:

South Asia Program, FORUM-ASIA, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Administration, LST, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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