Major legislative reform process underway | Daily News
Prof. G.L. Peiris tells Int’l Development Partners Dialogue

Major legislative reform process underway

Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC, State Minister Lohan Ratwatte and Attorney General Dappula de Livera at the event.
Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC, State Minister Lohan Ratwatte and Attorney General Dappula de Livera at the event.

The people must have confidence that justice will be delivered effectively and expeditiously by the court system, Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told a high-profile gathering in Colombo.

He was addressing the International Development Partners Dialogue at the Hilton Colombo over the weekend.

Minister Prof. Peiris said the Government was now involved in the constitutional reforms and revisiting and critically evaluating the law.

The event was attended by heads and representatives of international organisations and missions including UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, KOICA, The Asia Foundation, IOM, JICA, ADB, ICRC, UNODC, USAID, The World Bank, IOM, The European Union, Switzerland, and Australia.

“Many items of pending legislation will be amended and debated in the upcoming months. It covers the entire spectrum - judicial infrastructure, coordination, civil reform, criminal reform and commercial reform. A whole range of legislation in each of these areas is going to be presented to Parliament in the next few months,” the Minister said.

“Donor institutions are making the right choice as it is not an unrealistic expectation but a well-founded expectation that this country has an institutional strength to get to our destination,” he added.

Opening remarks were made by Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC, who spoke on the need for reform and the objectives sought to be achieved by the event and working together with the Development Partners.

The Minister noted the lack of coordination among all the institutions and the efforts, which have been made where certain things have been duplicated, or not properly evaluated, or at the end of the day result into irresolute circumstances.

The Minister commented on legal reforms where a number of committees were reforming laws where 10 new reforms were suggested through two reports, which will be progressed in a few months.

Attorney General Dappula De Livera and Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation State Minister Lohan Ratwatte, Secretary to the Justice Ministry M.M.P.K Mayadunne and the Heads of several State Institutions were present.

The objective of the event was to set out in detail the justice reform programme of the Justice Ministry to the organisations along with the areas that require technical assistance, capacity building, and institutional development and also serve as a forum for the organisations’ plan and to partner with the Justice Minisatry/GOSL inefficiently attaining the objectives of the Justice Sector Reform Drive.

A presentation on the Overall Legal and Policy Reforms was made by Coordinating Secretary at the Justice Ministry Attorney-at-lawShamir Zavahir, followed by presentations on the specific areasby Addtional Secretary to the Justice Ministry Tushara Suraweera, Sub-Committee on Digitisation and Court Automation Chief Legal Advisor Navin Marapana, PC, Sub-Committee on Commercial Law Reforms Chief Legal AdvisorAttorney-at-LawKaushalya Navaratne, Commissioner General of Prisons H.M.T.N Upuldeniyaand Consultant-ADB Bank Attorney-at-Law Harsha Fernando.

The presentations were followed by a dialogue between the Development Partners and Justice Ministry. It included discussions on the mechanism to move forward and the efficient collaboration on projects.