ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is taking a series of steps to speed up 1.1 million pending court cases and encourage alternative dispute solving mechanisms, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe said.
“The delay in court cases is a serious problem,” Minister Rajapakshe told a briefing at the President’s Media Centre.
“We have already taken several steps to expedite cases.”
There were 5,680 cases in Supreme Court, 4,054 in the Court of Appeal, 6,168 in the High Court of Civil Appeal, 8,363 in the Commercial High Court, 28,000 in the High Court, 254,000 in District Courts and 791,000 in Magistrates Courts.
In 2015, only 49 percent of complaints to mediation boards were resolved. Following reforms, the ratio has been increased to 70 percent.
The value of disputes going to mediation board has been raised to one million rupees from 500,000 rupees.
To solve land problems in the post-war period, special mediation boards on property was set up in the North and the East.
Mediation boards on property will be set up in another 16 districts.
Commercial High Courts were increased to four from three.
Another Commercial High Court will be set up in the future. The consideration of cases that can go to a High Court was raised from 4 million rupees to 10 million rupees.
A commercial dispute resolution law will be introduced next January.
A small claims court has been established.
Case involving disputes below 2 million rupees can be directed to small claims court.