Sri Lanka to establish a separate high court to hear financial fraud, bribery trials

The Sri Lankan government has received cabinet approval to set up a separate special high court to speedily hear the cases on offences on public properties including complex fanatical fraud, misappropriation of public properties, bribery and corruption and financing terrorism.

The objective is to make the judicial procedures more efficient as it has become practically difficult to provide speedy resolutions to such cases pertaining to financial frauds relating to government assets and revenues due to accumulation of the large number of cases.

Therefore it has been identified that establishment of a special high court is necessary to prosecute cases relating to misuse of public property, money laundering, financing terrorism, breaching of confidence, cases of bribery, organized crime and highly complex financial crimes.

The new high court will comprise three, 3-member panels of judges appointed by the Chief Justice. The cases will be referred to the new high court by the Chief Justice on his discretion or on Attorney General’s instructions.

The rulings of the new High Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court directly.

The proposal made by Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala to instruct the Legal Draftsman for the preparation of necessary laws and regulations, was approved by the Cabinet.