Special HC gains momentum | Sunday Observer

Special HC gains momentum

The Government has accelerated its efforts to prosecute high profile financial crimes with the appointment of 13 new High Court judges, some of whom will be appointed to the new Permanent High Courts -at-bar to hear cases involving large-scale bribery, corruption, fraud or other political crimes.

However, U.R. de Silva, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday told the Sunday Observer that more to be done in order to ensure that the Government could achieve its objectives.

“The law has been passed and the judges also took oaths but, the infrastructure is equally important. If this is not provided the whole exercise will be futile. If there is no sufficient court staff and the procedures cannot be obtained quickly then there is no point in talking about daily trials. So there should be a mechanism to get the proceedings available immediately,” de Silva said.

Taking a step further, he stated that a pre-trial stage should be incorporated in the procedures. “Before we start day-to-day proceedings it would be an important to find out that the witnesses are available. Productions and document should also be made available for the prosecutions to start and go ahead. When the defence is ready for the case the prosecution might say that they are not ready with their witnesses. To overcome this, we suggest that there should be a pre-trial stage.”

Speaking of the importance of moving towards digitalising the legal infrastructure he said that making available of audio or video recordings of proceedings so lawyers and parties could access through a portal would be ideal and essential.

Meanwhile, a senior official from the AG’s Department said that the Department’s cadre will be doubled. Based on a request by the Attorney General’s Department the Government has approved an increase in the cadre of State Counsels from 118 to 218. There is a gazette notification calling for applications.

“In view of the recent Cabinet decision increasing the salaries of officers of the AG’s Department newly recruited State counsel now become the highest paid public servants at the point of entry into public service,” he said.

These steps have underlined the urgency the Government is faced with to prosecute the high profile cases and the need for highly qualified and efficient officers to handle them.

 

Comments

Right move, though late ! To expedite matters, true enough, the mechanism and pre-trial stage should be immediately looked into as a high priority. I too feel so as a responsible citizen.

Quote: "The Government has accelerated its efforts to prosecute high profile financial crimes with the appointment of 13 new High Court judges, some of whom will be appointed to the new Permanent High Courts -at-bar to hear cases involving large-scale bribery, corruption, fraud or other political crimes."Unquote How about accelerating efforts to bring those who committed brutal murders to book? To Hell with the Financial Crimes - Bring the damned murderers first - Lasantha Wickrematunge, Ekneligoda, Thajudeen - these are the ones that need to be attended to first, not your damned money.