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1 | P a g e
Legal System of SriLanaka.
As a professional “Civil Engineering & QuantitySurveying” we should aware
aboutthe ...
2 | P a g e
In the 18th century, Roman-Dutch law wasincreasingly used in the south-
west and the south.As a consequence, p...
3 | P a g e
Thesawalamai law.
TheswalamaiLaw is based on ancientcustoms of Jaffna
Tamils in Sri Lanka. It applies to Tamil...
4 | P a g e
Muslim special law.
Muslim SpecialLawsapply to all Muslims in Sri Lanka. When a
Muslim marries another Muslim,...
5 | P a g e
Structure of the Courts System
The court structure consists in Srilanka as follows,
 Supreme Court,
 Court o...
6 | P a g e
Criminal law: An offence against state, which is prohibited by Law under
pain of punishment.
Statutesinvolving...
7 | P a g e
The Supreme Court.
The SupremeCourt is the highestand final court
of record, and exercises final civil and cri...
8 | P a g e
Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal is the first appellatecourt for
decisions of all original courts and cert...
9 | P a g e
High Courts.
Trials at a High Court are conducted by the State (Sri Lanka), through
the Attorney General’s Dep...
10 | P a g e
 Action in connection with trademark and patentrights, and infringementof
copyright laws.
 Claims for compe...
11 | P a g e
 Magistrate holds a preliminary inquiry
Does not passa verdict. At the end of the inquiry, if magistrate
thi...
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Legal system of sri lanaka

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Legal system of sri lanaka

  1. 1. 1 | P a g e Legal System of SriLanaka. As a professional “Civil Engineering & QuantitySurveying” we should aware aboutthe legal system in srilanka because always we are dealing with society. Therefore sometimes people may do wrong things. Thethings are regarding wrong thingsare influence or affected to the other people. To protect influence in other people by doing wrong thingswe can follow ethics. But most of people do not worry aboutthis. Hence this legal system in srilanka does the importantroll to control our self. Hence our legal system in srilanka is based mainlyfollowings for legal principals. They are follows,  Roman-Dutch law.  Kandyan law.  Thesawalamai law.  Muslim special law. Roman-Dutch law. Generally applies in Sri Lanka when statutes and indigenous laws do not regulate the issue in question.Roman-Dutch Law represents in Sri Lanka an inherited legal tradition.It has co-existed withseveral systems ofindigenouslaws, and the English common law, creating a “distinct legal culture that is described today as a ‘mixed’ civil and common law system.”
  2. 2. 2 | P a g e In the 18th century, Roman-Dutch law wasincreasingly used in the south- west and the south.As a consequence, private property (land) rightsspread rapidly in these areas, and property transfer were subject Roman-Dutch law.In fact, when the British themselves declared Roman-Dutchlawasthe common law of Ceylon, Roman-Dutchlawassumed even greater importance underthe British than it had enjoyed underDutch rule of Ceylon. Kandyan law. KandyanLaw appliesto ethnic Sinhalesewhose can trace their lineage back to the Kandyan provinces during the period of the Kandyan monarchyin central Sri Lanka. TheKandyan monarchyceased to exist with the Britishtakeover of central Sri Lanka in 1815. KandyanLaw does not apply to all Sinhalesewho are now resident in the Kandyanprovinces; However, KandyanLaw does applyto KandyanSinhalesewhonow do not reside in the Kandyanprovinces in central Sri Lanka.KandyanLaw thatremains applicableto KandyanSinhalesein present day Sri Lanka relates to marriage, divorce,and interstate succession. KandyanSinhalesehavethe option of choosing to marry under the Marriageand Divorce (Kandyan) Act, or theGeneral Marriage Ordinance. Kandyan Sinhalesewhochooses to marry underthe Kandyan Act will be governedby Kandyan law in matters relating to marriage, divorce and interstate succession by virtue of the KandyanLawOrdinance, as well as the Kandyan Matrimonialand Inheritance Ordinance.Kandyan lawson adoption are also applicableto those who marry underKandyan Law.
  3. 3. 3 | P a g e Thesawalamai law. TheswalamaiLaw is based on ancientcustoms of Jaffna Tamils in Sri Lanka. It applies to Tamilinhabitantsof the Jaffna Peninsula in Northern Sri Lanka. This customary and personal law also applies to numerous Jaffna Tamils who no longer live in the Jaffna Peninsula. It is a commonly held belief among manyin Sri Lanka that Thesawalamaiappliesonly to Jaffna Tamilswho reside in the Jaffna peninsula. The SupremeCourt of Sri Lanka, however, ruled in a 1988 case,“Sivagnanalingam v.Suntheralingam” thatThesawalamaiis a personal law that applies to Jaffna Tamils wherever they live in thecountry, and that it applies also to their movable and immovableproperty, wherever it is situated in the country. The SupremeCourt, overturning decisions of the lower courts, held that Thesawalamaiwould not applyto Jaffna Tamilsonly if there is “unequivocal evidence of abandonmentof inhabitancyin Jaffna.”ThisSupremeCourt ruling suggests that a Jaffna Tamilcould live for decadesin anotherpart of the country and not lose “Jaffna inhabitancy” if he or she, for instance, continues to ownproperty in the Jaffna Peninsula, or even visits Jaffna on a somewhatregular basis. Theruling also indicates thateach case must depend on its own facts. The only Thesawalamailawsthat are now applicableto Jaffna Tamils relate to property and interstate succession resulting from marriage.
  4. 4. 4 | P a g e Muslim special law. Muslim SpecialLawsapply to all Muslims in Sri Lanka. When a Muslim marries another Muslim, the bride and the groom do not have the option of getting married under the General Law, unlike in the case of KandyanSinhalese. Marriage, divorce and other related issues involving Muslims are governed by the Marriageand Divorce (Muslim) Act, no.13 of 1951. Issues related to interstate succession and donations, involving Muslims, are dealt with underthe Muslim Interstate Succession OrdinanceNo.10 of 1931, and anysubsequentamendments. UnderMuslim personal laws, for instance, “Although section 25 (1) (b) of the Muslim Marriageand Divorce Act states that the consent of the bride is essential to a marriage, in reality her presence is not required when the marriagecontract is concluded between the father or guardian of the bride, and the groom. Theconsent of the bride is irrelevant to the conclusion of the marriagecontract.
  5. 5. 5 | P a g e Structure of the Courts System The court structure consists in Srilanka as follows,  Supreme Court,  Court of Appeal,  High Courts,  District Courts,  Magistrate’s Courts,  Primary Courts. Additionally, there are numeroustribunals, etc. There are two types of cases that are involved in the structure of the court system in Srilanka. 1. Criminalcase. 2. Civil case. In cases involving criminallaw, a Magistrate’s Court or a High Court is the only court with primary jurisdiction; Therespective legal domainsof each are provided in the Code of CriminalProcedure. Murder trials and various offenses againstthe State originate in a High Court (see section on High Courts). Originaljurisdiction over most civil matters lies with the relevant District Court (see section on District Courts).
  6. 6. 6 | P a g e Criminal law: An offence against state, which is prohibited by Law under pain of punishment. Statutesinvolving criminaloffences o PenalCode o Excise ordinance. o Prevention of Terrorism Act. o DangerousDrugsOrdinance. Etc. Civil law: Wrongs done againstpersons. (Land, commercial, family matters). Differences between civil and criminal offences. Civil Criminal • Against a person. • Against state. • Person files action in a civil court (According to civil procedure code). • State files action in a criminal court (According to criminal procedure code). • Recovers damages. • Imprisonment, fine, whipping Death. • Decided on the weightof probability • Have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. • E.g.:Non- payment of rent. Most of medical negligenceetc.  Murder, Rape, Infanticide, Abortion, etc.
  7. 7. 7 | P a g e The Supreme Court. The SupremeCourt is the highestand final court of record, and exercises final civil and criminalappellate jurisdiction. Litigantswho do not agree with a decision of the original court, be it civil, criminal, or Court of Appeal, maytake the case before the SupremeCourt, with permission from the Court of Appeal, or special permission from theSupreme Court. The SupremeCourt, however, will only agree to consider cases involving a substantiallegal issue. The SupremeCourt is composed of a Chief Justice and not less than six, and not more than ten, other judges. Powers;  Appointed by the President.  Hear cases of  Constitutional matters  fundamentalrights  Appeals from lower courts  Election petitions  Breach of privilege of parliament  Any other matter vested upon by parliament.  Consultation Jurisdiction to president/speaker.
  8. 8. 8 | P a g e Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal is the first appellatecourt for decisions of all original courts and certain Tribunals. The Court of Appeal is composed of the President of the Court, and not less than six, and not more than elevenother judges. Manycases at the Court of Appealare presided over by a single judge. The Court of Appeal hears appealsagainst judgmentsof the High Courts. It exercises appellatejurisdiction for the correction of errors in fact or in law at a High Court, or any Court of first instance, or Tribunal, or other Institution.In addition to the jurisdiction to affirm, reverse, correct, or modify a judgment, theCourt of Appealmay givedirections to a Court of first instance, Tribunal, or other Institution, or order a new trial, or order additionalhearingsasthe Court of Appeal deems appropriate. Powers; • Examinerecords of courts of 1st instance. • Issue writs, (e.g. Mandamus). • Issue HabeasCorpusorders. • Issue injunctions. • Try Election Petitions.
  9. 9. 9 | P a g e High Courts. Trials at a High Court are conducted by the State (Sri Lanka), through the Attorney General’s Department. TheAttorney General’s Department prosecutes on behalfof the State. Murder trials and various offenses againstthe State are tried at the High Court; Other criminal offenses are tried at a Magistrate’s Court.TheHigh Court is composed of not less than ten and not more than forty judges.Whilesome High Court trials will have a jury, some trials will not have a jury. The types of cases that require a jury are provided in the Second Scheduleof the JudicatureAct No.2 of 1978. Also, the Attorney General hasthe authority to determine whethera case that does not fall into a category provided in the Second Scheduleof the Judicature Act No.2 of 1978 should nonetheless havea jury. This Court sits in 16 provinces in the country (16 High Courts). DistrictCourts. District Courts are the Courts of first instance for civil cases. District Courts have jurisdiction over all civil cases not expressly assigned to the Primary Court or a Magistrate’s Court.  Cases related to ownership of land.  Action by landlordsto eject tenants.  Action to recover debts of more than Rs. 1,500.
  10. 10. 10 | P a g e  Action in connection with trademark and patentrights, and infringementof copyright laws.  Claims for compensation of more than Rs. 1, 500 for injuries caused by negligence.  Divorce cases (Formerly, divorce cases were handled bythe now defunct Family Courts). Magistrate’s Courts. The Magistrate’s Courts are established under the Judicature Act, No.2 of 1978. Each Judicial division has one Magistrate’s Court, and there are 74 judicial divisions in Sri Lanka. Each Magistrate’s Court is vested with original jurisdiction over criminal offenses (other than offenses committed after indictment in the High Court.)  Prosecution conducted by police.  2 types of proceedings 1. Summaryproceedings 2. Non-SummaryProceedings. Summaryproceedings:for most of crimes heard at Magistrate’s Court. Non-SummaryProceedings:For Murder, Rapeand any other offence when Attorney General thinks so.
  11. 11. 11 | P a g e  Magistrate holds a preliminary inquiry Does not passa verdict. At the end of the inquiry, if magistrate thinks that there is enough ground for the case to be heard in high court, case is palmed over to Attorney General whoprosecutes through state councils in high court. Primary Courts. Minor civil and criminal matters.ThePrimary Courts are established underthe Judicature Act, No.2 of 1978. There are seven Primary Courts: Oneeach in Anamaduwa, Angunukolapelessa, Kandy, Mallakam,Pilessa, Wellawaya and Wennappuwa. In all other divisions, the Magistrate’s Court exercises the jurisdiction of the Primary Courts. Requests for revision of orders madeby a Primary Court are handled bythe High Court in that province. All Primary Court judgesare appointed bythe Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which is also vested with the power of dismissal of the Primary Court judges Generally, the retirement age for Primary Court judges is 60 years. Tribunals. Apart from this hierarchy of the Courts as set out above there are a numberof Administrative Tribunalssuch as the Rent Board of Review, Rent Boards, Ceiling on Housing Property Board of Review, Land Acquisition Board of Review, Agricultural Tribunals, Court Martials, LabourTribunals, which perform functions of a quasi‐judicialnature. Theirdecisions are capableof revision by the Appellate Courts by way of Writs or appealsas provided by the various enactment's by which each of these Tribunalshave been established.

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