By Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
Justice Minister Athauda Seneviratne told Parliament today the law would be amended soon to provide for the filing of Human Rights cases in the Court of Appeal.
Currently, such cases are filed in the Supreme Court only. Minister Seneviratne noted that according to the proposed law, appeals could be made to the Supreme Court on Human Rights issues heard by the Court of Appeal.
Besides, the Minister said that ‘Additional Courts’ would be set up in the country to clear the backlog of Court cases within a span of two years.
“There is a long delay in dispensing judgments because of this backlog. We have to resolve this problem,” he said.
In this case, he said that the support from the CID and the Attorney General would be sought. Commenting on the Mediation Boards, he said that the Cabinet approval had been given to empower the Mediation Boards settle disputes involving financial issues worth up to Rs. 100,000.
Earlier, only the cases involving a financial value of s. 25,000 were referred to these Boards.
“We are for mediation of problems as much as possible,” he said.
Commenting on the family disputes, he said that he would introduce a judicial procedure to resolve such case without leaving them to be ended up in legal separations.
“In Europe, over 60 percent of marriages end up in legal separations with the passage of time. It has dire social consequences. Therefore, those countries now opt for mediation of problems as far as possible,” he said.
The Minister also said that bail applications with regard to firearms offences could be filed only in Colombo now. He said that he ha taken steps to devolve this power to Courts in Provinces as well.