Although the 26-year civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has drawn to a violent close, the country still suffers from what the Asian Human Rights Commission has described as a "situation of abysmal lawlessness." While on paper Sri Lanka boasts a modern constitution protecting fundamental human rights, a sophisticated statutory regime that protects the rights of the accused and has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (http://defensewiki.ibj.org/index.php/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights), a track record of corruption and a lack of judicial accountability have undermined the effectiveness of the Sri Lankan criminal justice system. To date, there have been over 30,000 unresolved disappearances in the country and nearly 50% of all prisoners are un-convicted, pre-trial detainees.
- Sri Lanka ranks 19th in the world in prison overcrowding with an occupancy rate of 193.2%
- Sri Lanka has a total prison population of nearly 31,000 persons.
- Of the entire prison population in Sri Lanka, 48.7% are pre-trial detainees known as "remand prisoners" who share facilities with convicted felons while awaiting trial.
Sri Lanka Criminal Defense Manual
- Constitution of Sri Lanka (http://www.lawnet.lk/list_page.php?id=21)
- Code of Criminal Procedure (Consolidated 2006 Version) (http://www.lawnet.lk/section.php?file=http://www.lawnet.lk/docs/statutes/cons_stat_up2_2006/indexes/1981Y2V26C.html)
- Penal Code (Consolidated 2006 Version) (http://www.lawnet.lk/section.php?file=http://www.lawnet.lk/docs/statutes/cons_stat_up2_2006/indexes/2001Y1V19C.html)
- Evidence Code (Consolidated 2006 Version) (http://www.lawnet.lk/section.php?file=http://www.lawnet.lk/docs/statutes/cons_stat_up2_2006/indexes/2001Y1V14C.html)
- Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Government of Sri Lanka Official Web Portal (http://www.gov.lk/)
- Sri Lanka's Legal Information Network (www.lawnet.lk)
- Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka (www.lawaid.org)
- The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (www.basl.lk)
Legal Training Resource Center
eLearning Courses (http://elearning.ibj.org/)