Criminal Justice System Of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, known as Ceylon until 1972, is a tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean lying off the southeast coast of peninsular India. It has the total land area of 65 607 square kilometres, and the total population of 16.1 million (as of 1986). The annual population growth rate is estimated at 1.7%.
The two principal linguistic (racial) groups in Sri Lanka are the Sinhalese (74%) and the Tamils (18.2%). Also, approximately 7.1% of the population are of the Arabic origin, who are mentioned as the Sri Lankan Moors. As for the religious groups, approximately 69.3% of the people are Buddhists, most of whom are the Sinhalese, and 15.5% are Hindus, who ...view middle of the document...
The unit of the national currency is Rupee (Re or Rs).
BASIS OF CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
According to the colonisation by the British Empire, the British laws were gradually applied throughout the nation. However, due to the unsatisfactory state of the then existing criminal laws which led to a state of uncertainty, the Penal Code of Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, was first enacted in 1833. It is said that the Law was based on the corresponding Indian law. This Penal Code holds good up to now with several amendments.
The Penal Code embodies categories of offences, the punishments to which offenders are liable under the Code and general exceptions to criminal liability.
The broad categories of offences are: offences against the state, offences against public tranquillity, offences affecting the human body, offences against property, offences relating to religion, sexual and marital offences and offences relating to coins and government stamps.
Punishments prescribed under the Penal Code are: death, imprisonment (simple and rigourous), whipping, forfeiture of property and fine.
The principal general exceptions to criminal liability recognised by the Code are: insanity, intoxication, necessity, duress and private defence.
The minimum age of criminal responsibility is eight years. A child under eight years of age is considered incapable of possessing `mens rea'. Those over eight years but under twelve years are not punished unless they have attained sufficient maturity.
As for criminal procedure, the first law of this kind was the Criminal Procedure Code of 1882, which was replaced by the Criminal Procedure Ordinance of 1898. In 1974, the Administration of Justice Law was introduced but it was only operated for 4 years. The present law is the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, which was enacted in 1979. Also, the Judicature Act was enacted in 1978, which provides the basis of judiciary administration.
Among other significant...