The Research findings and observations on Magistrate’s Courts in the Judicial Zone of Colombo out
Posted on August 12th, 2009

Media Sec. Justice and Law Reforms

The Research findings and observations based on a simultaneous data collection from the Magistrate’s Courts in the Judicial Zone of Colombo were formerly presented to child protection stakeholders at a meeting held at the Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms recently. The data collection was carried out by the Ministry in collaboration with the Judicial Service Commission and Save the Children in Sri Lanka (SCiSL), with financial support from USAID. The research was conducted by Mr. Harshana Nanayakkara, Attorney-at-Law/Consultant to SCiSL.

 Amongst the key findings was that a vast majority of children came into contact with the justice system as those “ƒ”¹…”in need of care or protection’ (as defined by the Children and Young Persons Ordinance), in comparison to child offenders. Also highlighted by the research was the need to strengthen the co-ordination between police and probation services in order to avoid unnecessary delays and related consequences for children in contact with the law. It was further revealed that a significantly high percentage of children’s cases were reported at the Bambalapitiya and Colombo Magistrate’s Courts thereby endorsing the need for a Juvenile Court in the Judicial Zone of Colombo.

 The meeting was chaired by Mr. Suhada Gamalath, Secretary Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms. Mrs. Kamalini De Silva-Additional Secretary (Legal), Justice N. Udalagama-Director Judges Training Institute, Mr. Jayantha Jayasuriya-Deputy Solicitor General and representatives from the National Child Protection Authority, Human Rights Commission, Departments of Police, Labour, Probation & Child Care Services, Save the Children in Sri Lanka, UNICEF, Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies and Institute of Human Rights also attended the meeting.

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