Judiciary of Sri Lanka

Coat of arms of Sri Lanka, showing a lion holding a sword in its right forepaw surrounded by a ring made from blue lotus petals which is placed on top of a grain vase sprouting rice grains to encircle it. A Dharmacakra is on the top while a sun and moon are at the bottom on each side of the vase.
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sri Lanka

The Judiciary of Sri Lanka are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in Sri Lanka. The Constitution of Sri Lanka defines courts as independent institutions within the traditional framework of checks and balances. They apply Sri Lankan Law which is an amalgam of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law and Customary Law; and are established under the Judicature Act No 02 of 1978 of the Parliament of Sri Lanka.[1]

The judiciary consist of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Court, the Magistrate's Court, Primary Court. Although provisions are there for trials for serious offences to be held before a jury, at present all cases are heard before professional judges.[1]

Introduction

The Supreme Court Complex

The current system of courts are defined by the Judicature Act No 02 of 1978. However, the modern form of European form of justice originated during the Dutch colonial occupation of the coastal areas of Sri Lanka in the nineteenth century. Local forms of civil and criminal law as well as system of courts, existed for centuries prior to the European colonization.

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