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Law of Sri Lanka

The legal system in Sri Lanka compris collections of codified and uncodified forms of law, of many origins subordinate to the Constitution of Sri Lanka which is the highest law of the island. Its legal framework is a mixture of legal systems of Roman-Dutch law, English law, Kandian law, Thesavalamai and Muslim law. This mixture is a result of the diverse history of the island as a result criminal law is based on English law while much of the common law is Roman-Dutch law, with certain aspects such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance associated with Kandian law, Thesavalamai and Muslim law based on the community and geography.

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka is the highest court for all criminal and civil cases in Sri Lanka. This is followed by the Court of Appeal, High Court, District Courts, Magistrates' Courts and Primary Court as part of the Sri Lankan judicial system.

Law of Sri Lanka

The legal framework of Sri Lanka is complex and a mixture of laws ranging from Rome, England, Holland, South India and Old Ceylon. The religious and colonial history of the nation, traced from 1505 to 1948, is the factor responsible for this rich legislative inheritance.

The Sri Lankan judicial system has the Supreme Court as the apex court of the nation followed by the Court of Appeal, High Court, District Courts, Magistrates' Courts and Primary Courts.

The Laws of Sri Lanka is intended to be a tool for both the legal community and the general public.

The object of the Laws of Sri Lanka is to make all the statutory laws of Sri Lanka in force available at one source on the internet and also on CD-ROM and in print in an updated consolidated form, to all persons interested in the laws of Sri Lanka.

The Laws of Sri Lanka is such that any Sri Lankan enactment can be searched easily on the internet chronologically as well as in alphabetical order with annotated amendments.

Subscribers to the website have access to Clean Acts and amended annotated Acts.

Blackhall Publishing publishes the consolidated laws of Sri Lanka in print, in eight hardcover volumes, on CD-ROM and online. The CD–ROM edition is published using Folio Views

Legal practitioners

There were two types of practitioners; Advocates and Proctors based on English law, while since the implementation of the Justice Law No. 44 of 1973, there are only one type of legal practitioners authorized to represent others in all court of law in the island and are also authorized to give advice regarding any matter of law, known as Attorneys at law. Practitioners are divided between the official bar and unofficial bar.

Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka

The Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka, commonly known as the Appeal Court, is the second most senior court in the Sri Lankan legal system, with only the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka above it. Established in 1971, under the Court of Appeal Act No. 44 of 1971 the Appeal Court has jurisdiction to hear appeals from the High Court or any lower court, while its own decisions may be additionally appealed to the Supreme Court. The Appeal Court is headed by the President of the Court of Appeal.

High Court of Sri Lanka

The High Court in Sri Lanka is the only court which exercises the jurisdiction of the court of first instance and the appellate jurisdiction with both civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Article 111 of the Constitution and section 4 of the Judicature Act, No. 2 of 1978 as amended by Act, No. 16 -1989 describes that The High Court must consist of not less than ten and not more than forty Judges. Article 154P of the Constitution provides for the establishment of the Provincial High Courts to which judges are nominated by the Chief Justice from among Judges of the High Court of Sri Lanka. 

Law of Sri Lanka
Rayhana Mahrous


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