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Sri Lanka - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Sri Lanka. History:. Under British control from 1815 until independence in 1948 Name changed from Ceylon to Sri Lanka (“Sacred Land”) in 1972. Population: 21 Million Administrative capitol is Kotte. Commercial capitol is Colombo. Civil War since mid 1980s between government and Tamil Tigers.

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history
History:
  • Under British control from 1815 until independence in 1948
  • Name changed from Ceylon to Sri Lanka (“Sacred Land”) in 1972.
  • Population: 21 Million
  • Administrative capitol is Kotte. Commercial capitol is Colombo.
  • Civil War since mid 1980s between government and Tamil Tigers.
  • Ethnically and Religiously Diverse.
    • 70% of the country is Buddhist
    • The Sinhalese are the ethnic majority in Sri Lanka,
    • Tamils are the largest ethnic minority (16%).
government
Government:
  • Unitary State.
  • Dual Presidential / Parliamentary system.
  • President is the head of state, head of government, and Commander in Chief.
    • Elected by popular vote.
  • Parliament is Unicameral with 225 members.
  • PM serves at President’s deputy.
legal system
Legal System:
  • Based on a combination of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Kandyan, and Jaffna Tamil law.
court structure
Court Structure
  • Supreme Court
  • Court of Appeal
  • High Court
  • District Courts
  • Magistrate’s Courts
  • Primary Courts
slide6

Provisional Courts

    • Civil cases with awards lower than 1,500 rupees
    • Enforces local bye-laws.
    • Appeals go to Provisional High Courts.
  • Magistrate’s Courts
    • Low level civil and criminal cases.
    • Can fine up to 1,500 rupees and give prison time of up to 2 years.
    • Appeals go to Provisional High Courts
  • District Courts
    • Civil cases.
    • Appeals go to Court of Appeals.
  • High Court of Sri Lanka
    • Serious criminal cases
  • Court of Appeals of Sri Lanka
    • Writ of habeas corpus.
judicial effectiveness
Judicial Effectiveness
  • Justice is very slow in Sri Lanka.
  • Many criminal cases take longer than 5 years to complete, and some civil cases take up to 20 years.
  • Chief Justice
    • Judiciary is becoming a joke.
    • Vigilantism.
  • Court of Appeals backlog.
    • 8-10 years.
supreme court9
Supreme Court
  • 17th Amendment.
  • Justices appointed by President after getting permission from Constitutional Council.
  • Justice Mandatory Retirement Age: 65
  • Justices can only be removed if President has support from majority of Parliament.
supreme court10
Supreme Court
  • Original Jurisdiction
    • Constitutional Issues
    • Fundamental Rights
  • Judicial Review
  • Final Appellate Jurisdiction
  • Consultative Jurisdiction
judicial independence
Judicial Independence
  • Constitutionally Guaranteed
  • Reality:
  • Executive power
  • Witness intimidation
  • Rulings ignored by government.
  • Prevention Against Terrorism Act (1979)
    • Coerced confessions
    • No jury trials.
judicial independence12
Judicial Independence
  • Recent indictment of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga (10/8/08) for corrupt deal while in office was first time executive had ever been confronted in this manner by the Judicial Branch
human rights
Human Rights:
  • Numerous human rights violations.
  • Civil War used as justification for disappearances, torture, and murder.
  • Tamil ethnic group tends to be targeted.
  • U.S. Dept. of State Human Rights Report 2007:
    • Armed attacks against civilians, kidnapping.
    • few arrests and no prosecutions as a result of these abuses.
    • “Government security forces used the broad 2005 emergency regulations to detain civilians arbitrarily, including journalists and members of civil society.”