Committee on demarcation of jurisdiction proposes to establish new Courts & increase Judges

The Committee appointed to review demarcation of jurisdiction and to increase the number of Courts presented its report to the Minister of Justice Ali Sabry on Thursday, at the Ministry of Justice.

The report of the committee headed by Justice Mahinda Samayawardhena, Judge of the Supreme Court, includes proposals for increasing the number of Courts to 125 and for establishing 74 new Courts.

Accordingly, 16 High Courts, 21 District Courts, 19 Magistrate Courts, and 18 Combined Courts are proposed to be established. The Committee also proposes to increase the number of Magistrates, District and High Court Judges by 112 and to expand the number of Courts in other existing Courts.

The Judicial Zones had to be revised after the Committee had sought the views and suggestions of branch associations of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and other interested parties throughout the country. The Committee has noted that the last amendment to jurisdiction was in 2010 and subsequent changes were made based on the gazette notification issued in 2010.

Other members who contributed to this Committee were Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Acting Registrar of Companies Dimal Arandara, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Piyumanthi Peiris, Additional Solicitor General Indika De Silva PC, U.R. De Silva PC, Senior DIG Ajith Rohana, Advisor to the Civil Law Reform Committee of the Ministry of Justice Sanjeewa Dasanayake, Advisor to the Infrastructure Committee of the Ministry of Justice Shamith Fernando, High Court Judge M.K.A. Peiris, Amal Randeniya, Sanjaya Gamage, Nalin Silva, Co-Convener of the Committee Chandima Welikala and Co-Convener of the Committee Ruvini De Silva.

The committee was appointed with the aim of creating a more efficient judicial service by reducing the number of pending cases, unnecessary delays, and overcrowding, as well as the number of cases that could not be controlled by a single judge. The Committee has given its best efforts to identify and address all issues in an effective and efficient manner while maintaining its ultimate objective at the forefront.