Sri Lanka considers adopting English language for legal proceedings

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The English language is to be considered for conducting legal proceedings and maintaining records in certain courts in Sri Lanka, the Government Information Department said on Tuesday (February 20).

Particulars in the commerce sphere related to commercial activities are mainly used in the English language and require a considerable cost and time in translating those contents into the Sinhala language.

Due to that, an extended period to settle commercial disputes takes place, which leads to a disadvantage when obtaining entrepreneurs, the department said.

“This situation also affected the position of Sri Lanka to be in a lower place in the Ease of Doing Business ratings, which envisage the ability of conducting enterprises in a country. As a remedy to this, it has been recognized as appropriate to issue an order by the subject Minister of Justice with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers and in par with the provisions of the statute 24 (4) of the Constitution permitting the use of the English language in relation to all activities in recognized courts or legal records and proceedings precisely mentioned thereupon,” it said.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to take necessary action in this regard.