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Govt unveils ambitious legal reforms agenda: Minister leads charge in enacting crucial laws

June 13, Colombo (LNW): Justice, Prison Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe unveiled the Government’s ambitious agenda to enact approximately 15 pivotal laws in the forthcoming weeks, marking a significant stride in legal reforms.

Speaking to a briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre, Rajapakshe highlighted the remarkable progress made over the past 18 months, with around 75 bills introduced and ratified by Parliament, laying the groundwork for substantial changes.

The Minister outlined the key focus areas that the Government intends to address through a series of legislative reforms in the near future:

Firstly, the Government aims to implement a robust anti-corruption act targeting bribery, fraud, corruption, and embezzlement. This entails empowering the Bribery Commission and introducing provisions to tackle sports and sexual bribery offenses.

Secondly, efforts will be made to strengthen the monitoring of assets and liabilities, mandating all citizens to submit their statements to the Bribery Commission for meticulous scrutiny, thereby promoting transparency and accountability.

In addition, new legislation will be formulated to facilitate the confiscation of illicit goods and hazardous drugs, alongside the establishment of an authority to investigate assets obtained through criminal activities, bolstering the fight against illegal trade and drug trafficking.

Moreover, proposed amendments to the Primary Procedure Code and the introduction of a bill on marriage regulations are on the agenda, along with revisions to the Muslim marriage and divorce law to incorporate universally acceptable changes, ensuring fairness and modernisation of legal processes.

Further reforms are envisioned for Kathi courts to address emerging challenges and enhance their efficiency.

Additionally, a draft will be proposed to enforce the rulings of foreign courts, thereby strengthening international legal cooperation.

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