Judiciary System in Sri Lanka
Blind Lady of Justice

(i)

105.

(1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the institutions for the administration of justice which protect, vindicate and enforce the rights of the People shall be -

(a) the Supreme Court of the Republic of Sri Lanka,
(b) the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Sri Lanka,
(c) the High Court of the Republic of Sri Lanka and such other Courts of First Instance, tribunals or such institutions as Parliament may from time to time ordain and establish.

(2) All courts, tribunals and institutions created and established by existing written law for the administration of justice and for the adjudication and settlement of industrial and other disputes, other than the Supreme Court, shall be deemed to be courts, tribunals and institutions created and established by Parliament. Parliament may replace or abolish, or, amend the powers, duties, jurisdiction and procedure of, such courts, tribunals and institutions.

(3) The Supreme Court of the Republic of Sri Lanka and the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall each be a superior court of record and shall have all the powers of such court including the power to punish for contempt of itself, whether committed in the court itself or elsewhere, with imprisonment or fine or both as the court may deem fit. The power of the Court of Appeal shall include the power to punish for contempt of any other court, tribunal or institution referred to in paragraph I (c) of this Article, whether committed in the presence of such court or elsewhere.

(4) Parliament may by law provide for the creation and establishment of courts, tribunals or institutions for the adjudication and settlement of matters relating to the discipline of bhikkus or any dispute between bhikkus or any other dispute relating to the performance of services in, or in relation to, temples. Such law may, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Chapter or Chapter XVI, make provision -

(a) for the appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of the member or members of such courts, tribunals or institutions by the President or by such other person or body of persons as may be provided for in such law ;
(b) for the exclusion of the jurisdiction of any other institution referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article in relation to such matters and disputes.

(ii)

106.

(1) The sittings of every court, tribunal or other in situation established under the Constitution or ordained and established by Parliament shall subject to the provision of the Constitution be held in public, and all persons shall be entitled freely to attend such sittings.

(2) A judge or presiding officer of any such court, tribunal or other institution may, in his discretion, whenever he considers it desirable, exclude therefrom such persons as are not directly interested in the proceedings therein:

(a) in proceedings relating to family relations,
(b) in proceedings relating to sexual matters,
(c) in the interests of national security or public safety, or
(d) in the interests of order and security within the precincts of such court, tribunal or other institution.

(iii)

l07.

(1) The Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other judge of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal shall, subject to the provisions in Article 41C be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand.

(2) Every such Judge shall hold office during good behaviour, and shall not be removed except by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament, supported by a majority of the total number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) has been presented to the President for such removal on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.

(3) Parliament shall by law or by Standing Orders provide for all matters relating to the presentation of such an address, including the procedure for the passing of such resolution, the investigation and proof of the alleged misbehavior or incapacity and the right of such Judge to appear and to be heard in person or by representative.

(4)Every person appointed to be or to act as Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal or a Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal shall not enter upon the duties of his office until he takes and subscribes or makes and subscribes before the President, the oath or the affirmation set out in the Fourth Schedule.

(5)The age of retirement of Judges of the Supreme Court shall be sixty-five years and of Judges of the Court of Appeal shall be sixty-three years.

(iv)

108.

(1) The salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeal shall be determined by Parliament and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

(2) The salary payable to, and the pension entitlement of, a Judge of the Supreme Court and a Judge of the Court of Appeal shall not be reduced, after his appointment.

(v)

109.

(1) If the Chief Justice or the President of the Court of Appeal is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office, by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause the President shall subject to the provisions of Article 41C, appoint another Judge of the Supreme Court, or of the Court of Appeal, as the case may be, to act in the office of Chief Justice, or President of the Court of Appeal, respectively, during such period.

(2) If any Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office, by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause, the President may, subject to the provisions of Article 41C, appoint another person to act as a Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal, as the case may be, during such period.

(vi)

110.

(1) A Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal may be required by the President of the Republic to perform or discharge any other appropriate duties or functions under any written law.

(2) No Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal shall perform any other office (whether paid or not) or accept any place of profit or emolument, except as authorized by the Constitution or by written law or with the written consent of the President.

(3) No person who has held office as a permanent Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal may appear, plead, or practise in any court, tribunal or institution as an attorney-at-law at any time without the written consent of the President.

(vii)

111.

(1) There shall be a High Court of Sri Lanka, which shall exercise such jurisdiction and powers as Parliament may by law vest or ordain.

(2) The Judges of the High Court shall:

(a) on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and such recommendation shall be made after consultation with the Attorney-General;
(b) be removable and be subject to the disciplinary control of the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.

(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article, Parliament may by law provide for matters relating to the retirement of the Judges of such High Court.

(4) Any Judge of the High Court may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the President.

(viii)

111A.

(1) Where the Minister in charge of the subject of Justice represents to the President that it is expedient that the number of Judges exercising the jurisdiction and powers of the High Court in any judicial zone should be temporarily increased, the President may, on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, by warrant, appoint one or more Commissioners of the High Court to exercise the jurisdiction and powers of the High Court within such judicial zone as is specified in the warrant of appointment of such Commissioner of the High Court.

(2) Every Commissioner of the High Court appointed under paragraph (1) shall hold office for the period specified in his warrant of appointment and shall be removable, and be subject to disciplinary control, by the President, on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.

(3) Every Commissioner of the High Court appointed under paragraph (1) may, during his tenure of office, exercise, according to law, such jurisdiction and powers as is, or are, vested or ordained in the High Court by Parliament, and shall be invested with all the rights, powers, privileges and immunities (except such rights and privileges as relate to tenure of office) of a Judge of the High Court, and for this purpose, a reference to a "Judge of the High Court" in the Constitution or other written law shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be deemed to include a reference to a "Commissioner of the High Court".

(ix)

111B. There shall be a Fiscal, who shall be the Fiscal for the whole Island and who shall exercise supervision and control over Deputy Fiscals attached to all Courts of First Instance.

(x)

111C.

(1) Every judge, presiding officer, public officer or other person entrusted by law with judicial powers or functions or with functions under this Chapter or with similar functions under any law enacted by Parliament shall exercise and perform such powers and functions without being- subject to any direction or other interference proceeding from any other person except a superior court, tribunal, institution or other person entitled under law to direct or supervise such judge, presiding officer, public officer or such other person in the exercise or performance of such powers or functions.

(2) Every person who, without legal authority, interferes or attempts to interfere with the exercise or performance of the judicial powers or functions of any judge, presiding officer, public officer or such other person as is referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, shall be guilty of an offence punishable by the High Court on conviction after trial without a jury with imprisonment of either description for a terms which may extend to a period of one year or with fine or with both such imprisonment and fine and may, in addition, be disqualified for a period not exceeding seven years from the date of such conviction from being an elector and from voting at a Referendum or at any election of the President of the Republic or at any election of a Member of Parliament or any local authority or from holding any public office and from being employed as a public officer.

(xi)

111D.

(1) There shall be a Judicial Service Commission (in this Chapter referred to as the "Commission") consisting of the Chief Justice and two other Judges of the Supreme Court appointed by the President, subject to the provisions of Article 41c.

(2) The Chief Justice shall be the Chairman of the Commission.

(xii)

111E.

(1) The quorum for any meeting of the Commission shall be two members of the Commission.

(2) A Judge of the Supreme Court appointed as a member of the Commission shall, unless he earlier resigns his office or is removed therefrom as hereinafter provided or ceases to be a Judge of the Supreme Court, hold office for a period of three years from the date of his appointment, but shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(3) All decisions of the Commission shall be made by a majority of the members present, and in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

(4) The Commission shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership and no act or proceeding of the Commission shall be, or be deemed to be invalid by reason only of such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

(5) The President may grant to any member of the Commission leave from his duties and may appoint on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, a person qualified to be a member of the Commission to be a temporary member for the period of such leave.

(6) The President may, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, for cause assigned, remove from office any member of the Commission.

(xiii)

111F. A member of the Commission shall be paid such allowances shall may be determined by Parliament. Such allowances shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund and shall not be reduced during the period of office of a member, and shall be in addition to the salary and other allowances attached to, and received from, the substantive appointment: Provided that until the amount to be paid as allowances is determined under the provisions of this Article, the members or the Commission shall continue to receive as allowances, such amount as they were receiving on the day immediately preceding the date on which this Chapter comes into operation.

(xiv)

111G. There shall be a Secretary to the Commission who shall be appointed by the Commission from among senior judicial officers of the Courts of First Instance.

(xv)

111H.

(1) The Judicial Service Commission is hereby vested with the power to

(a) transfer judges of the High Court.
(b) appoint, promote, transfer, exercise disciplinary control and dismiss judicial officers and scheduled public officers.

(2) The Commission may make -

(a) rules regarding training of Judges of the High Court, the schemes for recruitment and training, appointment, promotion and transfer of judicial offices and scheduled public officers;
(b) provision for such matters as are necessary or expedient for the exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of the Commission.

(3) The Chairman of the Commission or any Judge of the Supreme Court or Judge of the Court of Appeal as the case may be, authorized by the Commission shall have power and authority to inspect any court of First Instance, or the records, registers and other documents maintained in such Court, or hold such inquiry as may be necessary.

(4) The Commission may by Order published in the Gazette delegate to the Secretary to the Commission the power to make transfers in respect of scheduled public officers, other than transfers involving increase of salary, or to make acting appointments in such cases and subject to such limitations as may be specified in the Order.

(xvi)

111J. Any judicial officer or scheduled public office may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Chairman of the Commission.

(xvii)

111K. No suit or proceeding shall lie against the Chairman, member or Secretary or officer or the Commission for any lawful act which in good faith is done in the performance of his duties or functions as such Chairman, member, Secretary or officer of the Commission.

(xviii)

111L.

(1) Every person who otherwise than in the course of such persons lawful duty, directly or indirectly alone or by or with any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or attempts to influence any decision or order made by the Commission or to so influence any member thereof, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) Every High Court established under Article 154P of the Constitution shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any matter referred to in paragraph (1).

(xix)

111M.

(a) In this Chapter -

“appointment” includes the appointment to act in any office referred to tin this Chapter.

“judicial officer” means any person who holds office as judge, presiding officer, tribunal or institution created and established for the administration of justice or for the adjudication of any labour or other dispute, but does not include a Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal or of the High Court or a person who performs arbitral functions, or a public officer whose principal duty is not the performance of functions of a judicial nature; and

“scheduled public officer” means the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal, the Registrar, Deputy Registrar or Assistant Registrar of the High Court or any Court of First Instance, the Fiscal, the Deputy Fiscal of the Court of Appeal or High Court and any Court of First Instance, any public officer employed in the Registry of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal or High Court or any Court of First Instance included in a category specified in the Fifth Schedule or such other categories as may be specified by Order made by the Minister in charge of the subject of Justice and approved by Parliament and published in the Gazette.

(b) No court, tribunal or institution shall have jurisdiction to entertain or to determine the question whether or not a person is a judicial officer within the meaning of the Constitution, but such question shall be determined solely by the Commission, whose decision thereon shall be final and conclusive.

(c) No act of such person or proceeding held before such person, prior to such determination as is referred to in subparagraph (b) shall be deemed to be invalid by reason of such determination.

(xx)

116.

(1) Every judge, presiding officer, public officer or other person entrusted by law with judicial powers or functions or with functions under this Chapter or with similar functions under any law enacted by Parliament shall exercise and perform such powers and functions without being subject to any direction or other interference proceeding from any other person except a superior court, tribunal, institution or other person entitled under law to direct or supervise such judge, presiding officer, public officer or such other person in the exercise or performance of such powers or functions.

(2) Every person who, without legal authority, interferes or attempts to interfere with the exercise or performance of the judicial powers or functions of any judge, presiding officer, public officer or such other person as is referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, shall be guilty of an offence punishable by the High Court on conviction after trial without a jury with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to a period of one year or with fine or with both such imprisonment and fine and may, in addition, be disqualified for a period not exceeding seven years from the date of such conviction from being an elector and from voting at a Referendum or at any election of the President of the Republic or at any election of a Member of Parliament or any local authority or from holding any public office and from being employed as a public officer.

(xxi)

118. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be the highest and final superior Court of record in the Republic and shall subject to the provisions of the Constitution exercise -

(a) jurisdiction in respect of constitutional matters;
(b) jurisdiction for the protection of fundamental rights;
(c) final appellate jurisdiction;
(d) consultative Jurisdiction;
(e) jurisdiction in election petitions;
(f) jurisdiction in respect of any breach of the privileges of Parliament; and
(g) jurisdiction in respect of such other matters which Parliament may by law vest or ordain.

(xxii)

119.

(1) The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief Justice and of not less than six and not more than ten other Judges who shall be appointed as provided in Article 107.

(2) The Supreme Court shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and no act or proceeding of the Court shall be, or shall be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a Judge.

(xxiii)

120. The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question as to whether any Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, Provided that -

(a) in the case of a Bill described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution, or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, the only question which the Supreme Court may determine is whether such Bill requires approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 83;

(b) where the Cabinet of Ministers certifies that a Bill, which is described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provisions of the Constitution, or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, is intended to be passed with the special majority required by Article 83 and submitted to the People by Referendum, the Supreme Court shall have and exercise no jurisdiction in respect of such Bill;

(c) where the Cabinet of Ministers certifies that a Bill which is not described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution, or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, is intended to be passed with the special majority required by Article 84, the only question which the Supreme Court may determine is whether such Bill requires approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 83 or whether such Bill is required to comply with paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 82; or

(d) where the Cabinet of Ministers certifies that any provision of any Bill which is not described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution is intended to be passed with the special majority required by Article 84, the only question which the Supreme Court may determine is whether any other provision of such Bill requires to be passed with the special majority required by Article 84 or whether any provision of such Bill requires the approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue the provisions of Article 83 or whether such Bill is required to comply with the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 82.

(xxiv)

121.

(1) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to ordinarily determine any such question as aforesaid may be invoked by the President by a written reference addressed to the Chief Justice, or by any citizen by a petition in writing addressed to the Supreme Court. Such reference shall be made, or such petition shall be filed, within one week of the Bill being placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, and a copy thereof shall at the same time be delivered to the Speaker.

(2) Where the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court has been so invoked no proceedings shall be had in Parliament in relation to such Bill until the determination of the Supreme Court has been made, or the expiration of a period of three weeks from the date of such reference or petition, whichever occurs first.

(3) The Supreme Court shall make and communicate its determination to the President and to the Speaker within three weeks of the making of the reference or the filing of the petition, as the case may be.

(xxv)

122.

(1) In the case of a Bill which is, in the view of the Cabinet of Ministers, urgent in the national interest, and bears an endorsement to that effect under the hand of the Secretary to the Cabinet -

(a) the provisions of Article 78 (1) and of Article 121, shall subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article, have no application;
(b) the President shall by a written reference addressed to the Chief Justice, require the special determination of the Supreme Court as to whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution. A copy of such reference shall at the same time be delivered to the Speaker;
(c) the Supreme Court shall make its determination within twenty-four hours (or such longer period not exceeding three days as the President may specify) of the assembling of the Court, and shall communicate its determination only to the President and the Speaker.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 121 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to such Bill.

(xxvi)

123.

(1) The determination of the Supreme Court shall be accompanied by the reasons therefor, and shall state whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution and if so, which provision or provisions of the Constitution.

(2) Where the Supreme Court determines that the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, it shall also state -

(a) whether such Bill is required to comply with the provisions of paragraphs (l)and(2)of Article 82; or
(b) whether such Bill or any provision thereof may only be passed by the special majority required under the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 84; or
(c) whether such Bill or any provision thereof requires to be passed by the special majority required under the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 84 and approved by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 83.

(3) In the case of a Bill endorsed as provided in Article 122, if the Supreme Court entertains a doubt whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, it shall be deemed to have been determined that the Bill or such provision of the Bill is inconsistent with the Constitution, and the Supreme Court shall comply with the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article.

(4) Where any Bill, or the provision of any Bill, has been determined, or is deemed to have been determined, to be inconsistent with the Constitution, such Bill or such provision shall not be passed except in the manner stated the determination of the Supreme Court.

(xxvii)

124. Save as otherwise provided in Articles 120,121 and 122, no court or tribunal created and established for the administration of justice, or other institution, person or body of persons shall in relation to any Bill, have power or jurisdiction to inquire into, or pronounce upon, the constitutionality of such Bill or its due compliance with the legislative process, on any ground whatsoever.

(xxviii)

125.

(1) The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the interpretation of the Constitution, and accordingly, whenever any such question arises in the course of any proceedings in any other court or tribunal or other institution empowered by law to administer justice or to exercise judicial or quasi-judicial functions, such question shall forthwith be referred to the Supreme Court for determination. The Supreme Court may direct that further proceedings be stayed pending the determination of such question.

(2) The Supreme Court shall determine such question within two months of the date of reference and make any such consequential order as the Circumstances of the case may require.

(xxix)

126.

(1) The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the infringement or imminent infringement by executive or administrative action of any fundamental right or language right declared and recognized by Chapter III or Chapter IV.

(2) Where any person alleges that any such fundamental right or language right relating to such person has been infringed or is about to be infringed by executive or administrative action, he may himself or by an attorney-at-law on his behalf, within one month thereof, in accordance with such rules of court as may be in force, apply to the Supreme Court by way of petition in writing addressed to such Court praying for relief or redress in respect of such infringement. Such application may be proceeded with only with leave to proceed first had and obtained from the Supreme Court, which leave may be granted or refused, as the case may be, by not less than two Judges.

(3) Where in the course of hearing in the Court of Appeal into an application for orders in the nature of a writ of habeas corpus, certiorari, prohibition, procedendo, mandamus or quo warranto, it appears to such Court that there is prima facie evidence of an infringement or imminent infringement of the provisions of Chapter III or Chapter IV by a party to such application, such Court shall forthwith refer such matter for determination by the Supreme Court.

(4) The Supreme Court shall have power to grant such relief or make such directions as it may deem just and equitable in the circumstance in respect of any petition or reference referred to in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Article or refer the matter back to the Court of Appeal if in its opinion there is no infringement of a fundamental right or language right.

(5) The Supreme Court shall hear and finally dispose of any petition or reference under this Article within two months of the filing of such petition or the making of such reference.

(xxx)

127.

(1) The Supreme Court shall, subject to the Constitution, be the final Court of civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction for and within the Republic of Sri Lanka for the correction of all errors in fact or in law which shall be committed by the Court of Appeal or any Court of First Instance, tribunal or other institution and the judgments and orders of the Supreme Court shall in all cases be final and conclusive in all such matters.

(2) The Supreme Court shall, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, have sole and exclusive cognizance by way of appeal from any order, judgment, decree, or sentence made by the Court of Appeal, where any appeal lies in law to the Supreme Court and it may affirm, reverse or vary any such order, judgment, decree or sentence of the Court of Appeal and may issue such directions to any Court of First Instance or order a new trial or further hearing in any proceedings as the justice of the case may require, and may also call for and admit fresh or additional evidence if the interests of justice so demands and may in such event, direct that such evidence be recorded by the Court of Appeal or any Court of First Instance.

(xxxi)

128.

(1) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any final order, judgment, decree or sentence of the Court of Appeal in any matter or proceedings, whether civil or criminal, which involves a substantial question of law, if the Court of Appeal grants leave to appeal to the Supreme Court ex mero motu or at the instance of any aggrieved party to such matter or proceedings;

(2) The Supreme Court may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal to the Supreme Court from any final or interlocutory order, judgment, decree, or sentence made by the Court of Appeal in any matter or proceedings, whether civil or criminal, where the Court of Appeal has refused to grant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, or where in the opinion of the Supreme Court, the case or matter is fit for review by the Supreme Court;

(3) Any appeal from an order or judgment of the Court of Appeal, made or given in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 139, 140, 141, 142 or 143 to which the President, a Minister, a Deputy Minister or a public officer in his official capacity is a party, shall be heard and determined within two months of the date of filing thereof;

(4) An appeal shall lie directly to the Supreme Court on any matter and in the manner specifically provided for by any other law passed by Parliament.

(xxxii)

129.

(1) If at any time it appears to the President of the Republic that a question of law or fact has arisen or is likely to arise which is of such nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he may refer that question to that Court for consideration and the Court may, after such hearing as it thinks fit, within the period specified in such reference or within such time as may be extended by the President, report to the President its opinion thereon.

(2) Where the Speaker refers to the Supreme Court for inquiry and report all or any of the allegation or allegations, as the case may be, contained in any such resolution as is referred to in Article 38 (2) (a), the Supreme Court shall in accordance with Article 38 (2) (d) inquire into such allegation or allegations and shall report its determination to the Speaker within two months of the date of reference.

(3) Such opinion, determination and report shall be expressed after consideration by at least five Judges of the Supreme Court, of whom, unless he otherwise directs, the Chief Justice shall be one.

(4) Every proceeding under paragraph (1)of this Article shall be held in private unless the Court for special reasons otherwise directs.

(xxxiii)

130. The Supreme Court shall have the power to hear and determine and make such orders as provided for by law on privileges

(a) any legal proceeding relating to the election of the President or the validity of referendum;

(b) any appeal from an order or judgment of the Court of Appeal in an election petition case, provided that the hearing and determination of a proceeding relating to the election of the President or the validity of the referendum shall be by at least five Judges of the Supreme Court of whom, unless he otherwise directs, the Chief Justice shall be one.

(xxxiv)

131. The Supreme Court shall have according to law the power to take cognizance of and punish any person for the breach of the privileges of Parliament.

(xxxv)

132.

(1) The several jurisdictions of the Supreme Court shall be ordinarily exercised at Colombo unless the Chief Justice otherwise directs.

(2) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be exercised in different matters at the same time by the several Judges of that Court sitting apart.

(3) The Chief Justice may -

(i) of his own motion; or
(ii) at the request of two or more Judges hearing any matter; or
(iii) on the application of a party to any appeal, proceeding or matter if the question involved is in the opinion of the Chief Justice one of general and public importance.

(4) The judgment of the Supreme Court shall, when it is not an unanimous decision, be the decision of the majority.

(xxxvi)

133.

(1) If at any time there should not be a quorum of the Judges of the Supreme Court available to hold or continue any sittings of the Court, the Chief Justice may with the previous consent of the President request in writing the attendance at the sittings of the Court as an ad hoc Judge, for such period as may be necessary, of the President of the Court of Appeal or any Judge of the Court of Appeal.

(2) It shall be the duty of such a Judge who had been so requested, in priority to other duties of his office, to attend the sittings of the Supreme Court at the time and for the period for which his attendance is required, and while so attending he shall have all the jurisdictions, powers and privileges, and shall perform the duties, of a Judge of the Supreme Court.

(xxxvii)

134.

(1) The Attorney-General shall be noticed and have the right to be heard in all proceedings in the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Articles 120, 121,122, 125, 126, 129 (1) and 131.

(2) Any party to any proceedings in the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction shall have the right to be heard in such proceedings either in person or by representation by an attorney-at-law.

(3) The Supreme Court may in its discretion grant to any other person or his legal representative such hearing as may appear to the Court to be necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction under this Chapter.

(xxxviii)

135. The Registry of the Supreme Court shall be in charge of an officer designated the Registrar of the Supreme Court who shall be subject to the supervision, direction and control of the Chief Justice.

(xxxix)

136.

(1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and of any law the Chief Justice with any three Judges of the Supreme Court nominated by him, may, from time to time, make rules regulating generally the practice and procedure of the Court including -

(a) rules as to the procedure for hearing appeals and other matters pertaining to appeals including the terms under which appeals to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal are to be entertained and provision for the dismissal of such appeals for non-compliance with such rules;
(b) rules as to the proceedings in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in the exercise of the several jurisdictions conferred on such Courts by the Constitution or by any law, including the time within which such matters may be instituted or brought before such Courts and the dismissal of such matters for non-compliance with such rules;
(c) rules as to the granting of bail;
(d) rules as to the stay of proceedings;
(e) rules providing for the summary determination of any appeal or any other matter before such Court by petition or otherwise, which appears to the Court to be frivolous and vexatious or brought for the purpose of delay;
(f) the preparation of copies of records for the purpose of appeal or other proceedings in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal;
(g) the admission, enrolment, suspension and removal of attorneys-at-law and the appointment of senior attorneys-at-law and the rules of conduct and etiquette for such attorneys-at-law;
(h) the attire of Judges, attorneys-at-law, officers of court and persons attending the courts in Sri Lanka whether established by the Constitution, or by Parliament or by existing law;
(i) the manner in which panels of jurors may be prepared, and the mode of summoning, empanelling and challenging of jurors;
(j) proceedings of Fiscals and other ministerial officers of such courts and the process of such courts and the mode of executing the same ;
(k) the binding effect of the decisions of the Supreme Court;
(l) all matters of practice and procedure including the nature and extent of costs that may be awarded, the manner in which such costs may be taxed and the stamping of documents in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and Courts of First Instance not specially provided by or under any law.

(2) Every rule made under this Article shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into operation on the date of such publication or on such later date as may be specified in such rule.

(3) All rules made under this Article shall as soon as convenient after their publication in the Gazette be brought before Parliament for approval. Any such rule which is not so approved shall be deemed to be rescinded as from the date it was not so approved, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(4) The Chief Justice and any three Judges of the Supreme Court nominated by him may amend, alter or revoke any such rules of court and such amendment, alteration or revocation of the rules will operate in the like manner as set out in the preceding paragraph with reference to the making of the rules of court.

(xL)

137. The Court of Appeal shall consist of the President of the Court of Appeal and not less than six and not more than eleven other Judges who shall be appointed as provided in Article 107.

(xLi)

138.

(1) The Court of Appeal shall have and exercise subject to the provisions of the Constitution or of any law, an appellate jurisdiction for the correction of all errors in fact or in law which shall be committed by the High Court, in the exercise of its appellate or original jurisdiction or by any court of First Instance, tribunal or other institution and sole and exclusive cognizance, by way of appeal, revision and restitutio in integrum of all causes, suits, actions, prosecutions, matters and things of which such High Court of First Instance, tribunal or other institution may have taken cognizance;

(2) The Court of Appeal shall also have and exercise all such powers and jurisdiction, appellate and original, as Parliament may by law vest or ordain.

(xLii)

139.

(1) The Court of Appeal may in the exercise of its jurisdiction, affirm, reverse, correct or modify any order, judgment, decree or sentence according to law or it may give directions to such Court of First Instance, tribunal or other institution or order a new trial or further hearing upon such terms as the Court of Appeal shall think fit.

(2) The Court of Appeal may further receive and admit new evidence additional to, or supplementary of, the evidence already taken in the Court of First Instance touching the matters at issue in any original case, suit, prosecution or action, as the justice of the case may require.

(xLiii)

140. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Court of Appeal shall have full power and authority to inspect examine the records of any Court of First Instance or tribunal or other institution, and grant and issue, according to law, orders in the nature of writs of certiorari, prohibition, procedendo. mandamus and quo warranto against the judge of any Court of First Instance or tribunal or other institution or any other person, provided that Parliament may by law provide that in any such category of cases as may be specified in such law, the jurisdiction conferred on the Court of Appeal by the preceding provisions of this Article shall be exercised by the Supreme Court and not by the Court of Appeal.

(xLiv)

141. The Court of Appeal may grant and issue orders in the nature of writs of habeas corpus to bring up before such Court -

(a) the body of any person to be dealt with according to law; or

(b) the body of any person illegally or improperly detained in public or private custody, and to discharge or remand any person so brought up or otherwise deal with such person according to law : Provided that it shall be lawful for the Court of Appeal to require the body of such person to be brought up before the most convenient Court of First Instance and to direct the judge of such court to inquire into and report upon the acts of the alleged imprisonment or detention and to make such provision for the interim custody of the body produced as to such court shall seem right; and the Court of Appeal shall upon the receipt of such report, make order to discharge or remand the person so alleged to be imprisoned or detained or otherwise deal with such person according to law, and the Court of First Instance shall conform to, and carry into immediate effect, the order so pronounced or made by the Court of Appeal, provided further that if provision be made by law for the exercise by any court, of jurisdiction in respect of the custody and control of minor children, then the Court of Appeal, if satisfied that any dispute regarding the custody of any such minor child may more properly be dealt with by such court, direct the parties to make application in that court in respect of the custody of such minor child.

(xLv)

142. The Court of Appeal may direct -

(i) that a prisoner detained in any prison be brought before a court-martial or any Commissioners acting under the authority of any Commission from the President of the Republic for trial or to be examined relating to any matters pending before any such court-martial or Commissioners respectively; or

(ii) that a prisoner detained in prison be removed from one custody to another for purposes of trial.

(xLvi)

143. The Court of Appeal shall have the power to grant and issue injunctions to prevent any irremediable mischief which might ensue before a party making an application for such injunction could prevent the same by bringing an action in any Court of First Instance: Provided that it shall not be lawful for the Court of Appeal to grant an injunction to prevent a party to any action in any court from appealing to or prosecuting an appeal to the Court of Appeal or to prevent any party to any action in any court from insisting upon any ground of action, defence or appeal, or to prevent any person from suing or prosecuting in any court, except where such person has instituted two separate actions in two different courts for and in respect of the same cause of action, in which case the Court of Appeal shall have the power to intervene by restraining him from prosecuting one or other of such actions as to it may seem fit.

(xLvii)

144. The Court of Appeal shall have and exercise jurisdiction to try election petitions in respect of the election to the membership of Parliament in terms of any law for the time being applicable in that behalf.

(xLviii)

145. The Court of Appeal may, ex mero motu or on any application made, call for, inspect and examine any record of any Court of First Instance and in the exercise of its revisionary powers may make any order thereon as the interests of justice may require.

(xLix)

146.

(1) The Court of Appeal shall ordinarily exercise its jurisdiction at Colombo.

(2) The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal may be exercised in different matters at the same time by the several Judges of the Court sitting apart.

(3) In the event of any difference of opinion between two Judges constituting the Bench, the decision of the Court shall be suspended until three Judges shall be present to review such matter.

(4) The judgment of the Court of Appeal shall, when it is not an unanimous decision, be the decision of the majority.

(L)

147. The Registry of the Court of Appeal shall be in charge of an officer designated as the Registrar of the Court of Appeal who shall be subject to the supervision, direction and control of the President of the Court of Appeal.

(Li)

154P.

(1) There shall be a High Court for each Province with effect from the date on which this Chapter comes into force. Each such High Court shall be designated as the High Court of the relevant Province.

(2) The Chief Justice shall nominate, from among Judges of the High Court of Sri Lanka, such number of Judges as may be necessary to each such High Court. Every such Judge shall be transferable by the Chief Justice.

(3) Every such High Court shall

(a) exercise according to law, the original criminal jurisdiction of the High Court of Sri Lanka in respect of offences committed within the Province;
(b) notwithstanding anything in Article 138 and subject to any law, exercise, appellate and revisionary jurisdiction in respect of convictions, sentences and orders entered or imposed by Magistrates Courts and Primary Courts within the Province;
(c) exercise such other jurisdiction and powers as Parliament may, by law, provide.

(4) Every such High Court shall have jurisdiction to issue, according to law

(a) orders in the nature of habeas corpus, in respect of per sons illegally detained within the Province; and
(b) order in the nature of writs of certiorari, prohibition, procedendo, mandamus and quo warranto against any person exercising, within the Province, any power under

(i) any law; or
(ii) any statutes made by the Provincial Council established for that Province,

(5) The Judicial Service Commission may delegate to such High Court, the power to inspect and report on, the administration of any Court of First Instance within the Province.

(6) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and any law, any person aggrieved by a final order, judgment or sentence of any such Court, in the exercise of its jurisdiction under paragraphs (3)(b) or (3)(c) or (4), may appeal therefrom to the Court of Appeal in accordance with Article 138.

(Lii)

17. Every person shall be entitled to apply to the Supreme Court, as provided by Article 126, in respect of the infringement or imminent infringement, by executive or administrative action, of a fundamental right to which such person is entitled under the provisions of this Chapter.

(Liii)

23.

(1) All laws and subordinate legislation shall be enacted or made and published in Sinhala and Tamil, together with a translation thereof in English.

(2) All Orders, Proclamations, rules, by-laws, regulations, and notifications made or issued under any written law other than by a Provincial Council or a local authority, and the Gazette shall be published in Sinhala and Tamil together with a translation thereof in English.

(3) All Orders, Proclamations, rules, by-laws, regulations and notifications made or issued under any written law by any Provincial Council or local authority, and all documents including circulars and forms issued or used by such body or any public institution shall be published in the language used in the administration in the respective areas in which they function together with a translation thereof in English.

(4) All laws and subordinate legislation in force immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution shall be published in the Gazette in the Sinhala and Tamil languages as expeditiously as possible.

(Liv)

24.

(1) Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages of the courts throughout Sri Lanka and Sinhala shall be used as the language of the court situated in all the areas of Sri Lanka except those in any area where Tamil is the language of administration. The record and proceedings shall be in the language of the court. In the event of an appeal from any court records shall also be prepared in the language of the court hearing the appeal, if the language of such court is other than the language used by the court from which the appeal is preferred.

(2) Any party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant may initiate proceedings, submit to court pleadings and other documents, and participate in the proceedings in court, in either Sinhala or Tamil.

(3) Any judge, juror, party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant, who is not conversant with the language used in a court, shall be entitled to interpretation and to translation into Sinhala or Tamil, provided by the State, to enable him to understand and participate in the proceedings before such court, and shall also be entitled to obtain in such language, any such part of the record or a translation thereof, as the case may be, as he may be entitled to obtain according to law.

(4) The Minister in charge of the subject of Justice may, with the concurrence of the Cabinet of Ministers, issue directions permitting the use of English in or in relation to the records and proceedings in any court for all purposes or for such purposes as may be specified therein. Every judge shall be bound to implement such directions.

(5) In this Article –

“court” means any court or tribunal created and established for the administration of justice including the adjudication and settlement of industrial and other disputes, or any other tribunal or institution exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any tribunal or institution created and established for the conciliation and settlement of disputes;

“judge” includes the President, Chairman, presiding officer and member of any court; and

“record” includes pleadings, judgments, orders and other judicial and ministerial acts.

(Lv)

34.

(1) The President may in the case of any offender convicted of any offence in any court within the Republic of Sri Lanka -

(a) grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;
(b) grant any respite, either indefinite or for such period as the President may think fit, of the execution of any sentence passed on such offender;
(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on such offender; or
(d) remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the Republic on account of such offence;

(2) The President may in the case of any person who is or has become subject to any disqualification specified in paragraph (d), (e), (f), (g), or (h) of Article 89 or sub-paragraph (g) of paragraph (1) of Article 91 -

(a) grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions, or
(b) reduce the period of such disqualification.

(3) When any offence has been committed for which the offender may be tried within the Republic of Sri Lanka, the President may grant a pardon to any accomplice in such offence who shall give such information as shall lead to the conviction of the principal offender or of any one of such principal offenders, if more than one.

(Lvi)

39.

(1) Where the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 130 determines -

(a) that the election of the President was void and does not determine that any other person was duly elected, then, a poll for the election of the President shall be taken not later than three months from the date of the determination; or
(b) that any other person was duly elected as President, then, such other person shall assume the office of President within one month of the date of the determination.

(2) Upon the Supreme Court making any such determination as is referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, the person who was exercising, performing and discharging the powers, duties and functions of the office of President shall forthwith cease to exercise, perform and discharge such powers, duties and functions. During the period intervening between the date of such determination and the assumption of office by the new President, the Prime Minister shall act in the office of President and shall appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of the Prime Minister.

(3) For the purposes of Article 30(2) and notwithstanding the provisions of Article 31(4), the term of office of the new President shall be deemed to have commenced on the date on which the term of office of the person whose election was determined to have been void or undue would, but for such determination, have commenced.

(4) The exercise, performance and discharge by any person of the powers, duties and functions of the office of President shall not be invalid by reason only of the fact that the Supreme Court subsequently determines that the election of such person as President was void or undue.

(5) The provisions of this Article shall apply notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Article 40.

(Lvii)

77.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to examine every Bill for any contravention of the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 82 and for any provision which cannot be validly passed except by the special majority prescribed by the Constitution; and the Attorney-General or any officer assisting the Attorney-General in the performance of his duties under this Article shall be afforded all facilities necessary for the performance of such duties.

(2) If the Attorney-General is of the opinion that a Bill contravenes any of the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 82 or that any provision in a Bill cannot be validly passed except by the special majority prescribed by the Constitution, he shall communicate such opinion to the President.

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