With access to justice becoming increasingly expensive in Sri Lanka, economically impoverished segments of society are forced to turn a blind eye towards various injustices that they face. As a consequence of this, these persons are no longer able to enjoy their fundamental freedoms, and enjoy their rights to equality and even property. This is a pertinent problem that needs to be addressed in order for the country to meet its development goals in a sustainable manner.
It recognized in Sri Lanka that any person charged with an offence is entitled to be heard, in person or by an attorney-at-law, at a fair trial in a competent court, under Article 13(3) of the constitution. However, in reality the lack resources bar many from enjoying this right, though it is in itself a right that facilitates other rights.
At the Legal Aid Unit of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo we aim to bridge this gap, while at the same time exposing students to the practical application of laws. As beneficiaries of a free education system the unit is aimed at giving back to society.