Law-Making Systems: The Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka

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The Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka is a republican government with an elected president and 225 members of parliament. The citizens elect Sri Lankas lawmakers to office. The national law making the body in Sri Lanka is the Parliament, which is a unicameral system. The president is the chief head of state of the armed forces. Members of the public aged 18years and above (Kapferer, 2011) elect the head of state into office. The president serves in his position for six years. Nonetheless, the president is mandated to dismiss the legislature. Moreover, the executive has the right to select his cabinet ministers, chief justice, and the prime minister. The executive branch is composed of the prime minister, the president, and the cabinet. The prime minister acts as the chief head of government. Sri Lankas administrative structure constitutes of 8 provinces and another 25 districts. A provincial council administers each province while a zoning board governs the districts. The people (Mulligan, 2012) elect administration members in these councils into office. However, provincial governors are appointed into office by the president. The judiciary in Sri Lanka is composed of a Supreme Court, appeal court, high courts, districts, and magistrate courts. The president is mandated with the power to appoint the chief justice and all other judges in the Supreme Court for life.

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Section 2 Type of Court System

The judicial branch of the Sri Lankan government is a mixture of the English common law, Muslim laws, customary laws and the Roman-Dutch laws. Nonetheless, the English common law is the one that is most applied in the land. There are four main courts in Sri Lanka, which include the Supreme Court, appeal court, high court, district courts and the magistrate courts (Sharif, 2011). The Supreme Court holds the greatest judicial system in the land, and then the court of appeal follows, the district courts, then the magistrate court, primary courts are next, and lastly is the judicial service commission. The attorney general holds the highest position in the justice system while the district lawyers and the state counsels in his office conduct all prosecutions. Nonetheless, other trials including the minor ones are taken to the magistrate courts by the department in charge of a police station.

In Sri Lanka, the primary courts are required to deal with the original jurisdictions (Paust, 2014). These jurisdictions provide that primary courts should intervene if the debts, damages, and claims are not exceeding Rs. 1,500. On the other hand, appellate jurisdiction is granted to the high court. Here appeals are revised to sentences, convictions, and other orders that have been imposed or entered by primary and magistrate courts within a province. When it comes to civil matters, the relevant district courts are mandated to deal with the civil jurisdictions whenever a case is not expressly given to the primary courts or magistrate courts. However, the criminal offenses against the country are tried by the high court while magistrate courts deal with other crimes (DeVotta, 2011). Court cases are divided into two namely grave crimes, which are considered as indictable offenses, and the Minor crimes that are non-indictable cases. Some examples of serious crimes are an abduction, arson, and mischief, killing, theft, rape, etc. In Sri Lanka, court proceedings are presided over by qualified judges and the president appoints those in the Supreme Court. During court, their lawyers defend action plaintiffs while prosecutors hold the cases against them. The Sri Lankan legal system demonstrates adversarial characteristics. Here the arguments are based on a two-sided structure where both advocates present their parties positions before an impartial judge or a jury.

Section 3 - Law Enforcement

The minister of defense a position that is usually held by the president governs the police department. This department is organized in a militaristic structure. The police department head is the inspector general who commands other three senior deputy inspector generals who are responsible for other 18 deputy generals under their orders. The police department is mandated to patrol, investigate, execute warrants, detect criminal activities, run the local jails, and controlling traffic. Also, they keep records, maintain order, testifying in court, and providing security service to both VIPs and large gatherings. In the Sri Lankan government, there are criminal laws and sanctions (Joshi, 2012). Penalties are established in the penal code, which can either be implemented in the form of whipping, fines, forfeiting property, and death. Some of the crimes that are accorded sanctioning include raping, killing, arson and mischief (Fernando, De Alwis & Kotalawala, 2012). Civil laws in Sri Lanka are ruled out according to a balance of probabilities because they affect individuals alone. These disputes may be in the form of contracts or land and personal relations like divorce thus being categorized as civil laws.

Section 4


Notably, Sri Lanka has an exclusive feature, particularly about the death penalty row. According to records, the last time an individual was executed was in 1976 (Valters, 2013). This is despite calls by the media, politicians, and clergymen to adhere to this form of punishment.


The Australian government is that of a parliamentary democracy while Sri Lanka is a republican society. In Sri Lanka, the president serves his term for a length of 6years while the Australian system gives them 3years only (Hood & Cormier, 2012). While Australia has a legislature comprising 150 members the Sri Lankan parliament has 225 parliamentarians.


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Sri Lankan president. Melbourne Journal of International Law, 13(1).Joshi, D. (2012). Who gets unequal parliamentary representation? A comparison of India and Sri

Lanka. Contemporary South Asia, 20(3), 401-406.

Kapferer, B. (2011). Legends of people, myths of state: violence, intolerance, and political

culture in Sri Lanka and Australia. Berghahn Books.Mulligan, M. (2012). 6 From inter-ethnic conflict to plural democracy in Sri Lanka.

Sharif, I. A. (2011). Does political competition lessen ethnic discrimination? Evidence from Sri

Lanka. Journal of Development Economics, 94(2), 277-289.

Paust, J. J. (2014). The Human Rights to Food, Medicine and Medical Supplies, and Freedom

from Arbitrary and Inhumane Detention and Controls in Sri Lanka.

Valters, C. (2013). Community mediation and social harmony in Sri Lanka.

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