Sri Lanka

Client: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Period: 2013-2017
Country: Sri Lanka
Task: Civil Society Initiatives To Promote The Rule of Law (CSI.ROL)
Value: $3.9 million

The CSI.ROL program focused on supporting targeted civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote the rule of law in Sri Lanka and assisting the Ministry of Justice develop strategies to strengthen judicial integrity and capacity and to improve court administration to better serve the needs of its citizens.  Working with the Ministry of Justice, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), the Legal Aid Commission (LAC), provincial bar associations, educational and research institutions, and key NGOs, the program achieved the following:

  • Developed evidence-based advocacy for comprehensive legal reforms
  • Enhanced legal education and ethical training for lawyers, judges, and non-judicial officers
  • Improved access to legal services for women, and other vulnerable populations
  • Supported human rights by bringing fundamental rights cases of prisoners before the Supreme Court
  • Developed an in depth case management assessment and blueprint for advancing major reforms in the courts

Examples of Work We Do

Implement Public Awareness Campaigns

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) awareness program with local youth. Public awareness is an important component for helping the public understand and access their rights. CSI.ROL supported a variety of public information campaigns, often through joint efforts between CSOs and local government officials. These included radio programs, leaflet and poster campaigns, street dramas, and a film that dramatized the consequences of GBV on families.


Improving Access to Legal Services

CSI.ROL provides legal aid to vulnerable populations. CSI.ROL supports the Legal Ad Commission (LAC) of Sri Lanka with the goal of expanding legal aid to marginalized populations and to increase the capacity of LAC lawyers. CSI.ROL increased operational capacity of the  LAC through legal officer training and support to its regional offices.


Training Program for Court Stenographers

Commercial High Court Stenographer English Language Training. While trials occur in Sinhala or Tamil, appellate cases in Sri Lanka are heard in English. Stenographers need a good command of English to ensure a complete and accurate appellate record. Recognizing deficiencies in this area, CSI.ROL supported the delivery of English language training for appellate court stenographers. This course was successfully completed, with a total of 85 persons trained.