The history of training for the legal profession in Sri Lanka goes as far back as 1833, the year in which the Supreme Court was empowered by Section 17 of the Charter of 1833, to admit and enroll as Advocates and Proctors, persons of good repute and of competent knowledge and ability upon examination by one or more of the judges of the Supreme Court. This was done in order to provide legal practitioners to work in the judicial system established by the British Colonial administration. Consequently, the Law College was established to administer a formal course of study in preparation of persons for admission to the legal profession.
From the inception and up to 1973 the profession consisted of two branches – Advocates and Proctors. By the Administration of Justice Law, No. 44 of 1973 the two branches of the profession were fused and its members were called Attorneys-at-Law.
The Sri Lanka Law College functions under the Council of Legal Education (under the Council of Legal Education Ordinance No. 2 of 1990 as amended) to the legal education to persons who desire to be enrolled in the Bar of Sri Lanka. The Law College is the only Institution which offers a complete course of study leading to examinations in order to be eligible for enrolment as Attorneys-at-Law.
The Law College is managed by the Council of Legal Education set up under the Council of Legal Education Ordinance. The Council is headed by the Hon. Chief Justice. The other members of the Council are the Hon. Attorney-General, Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, the Hon. Solicitor-General, two judges of the Supreme court nominated by the Hon. Chief Justice, six members appointed by the Hon. Minister of Justice, and two members nominated by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. The Principal functions as the Head of the College, Registrar of the Council of Legal Education and Warden of the College Hostel.
P. Indira S. Samarasinghe -President’s Counsel
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