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Legal assistance to the vulnerable groups of a country constitutes an important segment of the administration of justice.

Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka (LAC) is the foremost amongst the various other institutions and organizations that cater to this important requirement, mainly due to its sustainability and stability. Legal Aid Commission was established by the Act No 27 of 1978 and at present it has 76 Centres Island wide. 

The Legal Aid Commission has undertaken many ambitious projects to achieve the above vision. The Mission of the Legal Aid Commission as stated in the Legal Aid Act No.27 of 1978 is to provide Legal Aid to all the “Deserving Persons” in the Country.. The LAC with over 120 permanent Legal Officers and over 1000 panel lawyers from the regional Bar Associations is the main institution dealing with access to equitable Justice in Sri Lanka.

 

Our Vision

EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE
" To create a society where all deserving Sri Lankans irrespective of their economic or social status, gender, caste, creed or nationality or the disabled have equal access to justice."
 

Our Mission

" The Legal Aid Commission has undertaken many ambitious projects to achieve the above vision "

 

To establish centers in courts island-wide to give legal aid for litigation and render assistance in other related matters to the needy, the deserving and the downtrodden.
To give legal advice to the public who call over at the Head Office & centers, at the Awareness Programmes for the participants, via Legal Aid Pages in newspapers and TV channels and also through the LAC publications.
To appear in Supreme Court in cases of rights violations via the Human Rights Bureau of the Commission.
To enhance the activities of the Developmental Legal Aid Units - Units for Migrant Workers, the Elderly, Women & Children, Prisoners etc.
To conduct Legal Aid Clinics, Legal Awareness & Training Programmes for the public, Public Officials inclusive of Police officers, Prisoners, Lawyers, School-Children, the Disabled., Migrant Workers, and the Elderly.

Areas of Legal work undertaken by LAC are

Legal Counseling

Counseling on legal matters free of charge Any person may call over at the LAC Head Office or any of its 60 centers island-wide and seek legal opinion on matter of interest to them. In circumstances that the centers are not in a position to certain complicated legal issues, the centers get appropriate advice from Head Office.

Litigation

The Litigation services are limited to persons whose monthly income level is Rs. 18,000/= or less. (Land, Divorce, Money recovery, accident compensation, domestic violence, Maintenance, Labour, debt conciliation board matters, rent board matters, bail, appeals, debt conciliation board matters, Fundamental rights violation cases.

Legal Awareness Programmes and Legal Clinics

Raising legal awareness is one of the main services rendered by the Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka. The Lac conducts Legal Awareness Programmes and Clinics for the various categories of vulnerable and deserving persons such as women, children, elders, migrant workers, differently abled people, people living with HIV, Indigenous people (Veddhas) the general public, police officers, government officers, school children and graduates, apprentices.

Court Representation in Fundamental Rights Cases

The Legal Aid Commission undertakes rights violation cases in the following instances: Direct Complaints of Rights Violations: Where persons call over at the LAC Head Office, Colombo or any of its outstation centers in a rights violation issue, the justice or the means test would be applied for the beneficiaries and if deserving the LAC appears for the aggrieved party in the Supreme Court.

Rights Violations referred by the Human Rights Commission (HRC): In matters referred by the Human Rights Commission, the LAC represents the litigant in the Supreme Court if there is a legal issue for a rights violation case. If not, the litigant / client are given necessary legal counsel.

Complaints referred to the LAC by the Supreme Court under Rule 44 (7) (b) of the Supreme Court Rules Where a person complaints to the Supreme Court on his behalf or on behalf of another of an infringement or imminent infringement of a fundamental right or language right and if such complaint discloses prima facie of an infringement, the Chief Justice may assign a Supreme Court judge to exercise his/her discretion to direct the registrar to refer such complaint to the Legal Aid Commission or to any attorney-at-law who is a member of any panel or an organization established for such purpose. Such complaints under the aforesaid rule 44 (7) (b) is to be treated as a petition in writing under and in terms of Article 126 (2). On this reference the LAC shall prepare and file the relevant papers in the Supreme Court and support of such application

Court representation for bail cases

Prior to the year 2009 the LAC appeared for bail cases. But due to financial constraints this was implemented only if representations were made by the kith of a suspect in custody or subsequent to prison visit by LAC lawyers.

In the year 2008 the UNDP – EA2JP funded the Prisons programme in Welikade and the Magazine Prisons. Due to the success story of the Project, the UNDP extended its financial support in the year 2010 to six (6) prisons and in the year 2010 to nine (9) prisons including Jaffna, Batticaloa and Trincomalee in the North and the East

  • Legal Awareness through Media

  • Launching Publications

 

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Need LEGAL COUNSELLING ?

Legal advise is given to any person without taking into consideration the income level of such person.

Call us : 011 243 3618

Head Office

LEGAL AID COMMISSION OF SRI LANKA
No 129, Hulftsdorp Street,
Colombo - 12, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94-11-2433618