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Monday, May 20, 2024

Number of judges to be increased to expedite hearings – Justice Minister

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Minister of Justice Ali Sabry, PC reminded those present at the opening of the new Court Complex at Kotawila, Matara on Friday (29), that since 1972 Sri Lanka was a Republic and not a Monarchy and that it was the people who confer power on the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the complex via zoom from Colombo. The new court complex in Kotawila was planned under the ‘ Deyata Kirula’ development programme of 2014/2015.

The Minister said that it was inevitable that the Executive and the Legislature were compelled to retain their popularity and therefore it was from the Judiciary that the people had to seek fairness and protection of the law. Hence the judiciary should be independent and strong. “A strong and fair judiciary improves the economy of a country as well” he added.

He said that as at 2019, there was a backlog of 800,000 cases in Sri Lanka and only 335 Judges to settle them. There were only 15 Judges per on million citizens and steps had been taken to increase the number of Judges which would result in cases being settled faster.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as Minister of Finance had allocated Rs. 20 million in the last Budget to upgrade infrastructure in the judicial process. Minister Sabry said that the introduction of a fully digital system was at its last stages and would be operative by February or March 2022.

Minister Sabry said that law reforms are necessary to respond to needs of society in keeping with global advancements and the people’s aspirations.

“The ultimate benefactor of all the changes being introduced should be the people of this nation” he added.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Members of the Judiciary, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera, District Secretary Pradeep Rathnayake, Members of Parliament, Members of the Bar Association of Matara, members of Local Government institutions and Government officials were among the dignitaries present at Kotawila.

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