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World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: Sri Lanka

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This overview of Sri Lanka's criminal justice system encompasses political and legal systems, the nature and extent of crime, victims, law enforcement, the prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, penalties and sentencing, and the prison system.

The national legislative body of Sri Lanka is the Parliament, and the judicial branch of government includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, district courts, and magistrate courts. Sri Lanka has an adversarial justice system, based primarily on English common law, and the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 6 years. Crime statistics for 1991 indicate 1,561 murders, 313 attempted homicides, 374 rapes, 5,621 arson and mischief cases, 9,508 burglaries, 3,934 robberies, 11,149 property thefts, and 3,392 extortion cases were reported. A total of 49,212 persons were victimized in 1991. The police force in Sri Lanka is modeled after the British police and is largely centralized. Police officers are authorized to use force, stop and apprehend suspects, conduct searches and seizures, and elicit confessions. The prosecutorial and judicial process is concerned with rights of the accused and procedures for bringing suspects to trial. Trial judges impose sentences, and the following penalties are generally used: fines, imprisonment, probation, capital punishment, suspended sentences, community service, and institutional treatment. In 1991, the prison system was authorized to handle about 6,300 prisoners, but the daily average prison population totaled about 9,000. 16 references

Date Published: June 1, 1993