SHORT ANALYSIS ON SENTENCING POLICIES ON TORTURE 2019

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The research provides a short-analysis of sentencing policies on Torture in Sri Lanka, specifically the violation of Article 11 of the constitution of Sri Lanka. In the process of analyzing cases from 1981- 2019 we have collected and analyzed 100 judgements from the Supreme Court only. We have included Article 12(1), 13(1) and 13(2), as most often these articles were considered by the Petitioner when filing for breach of Article 11.

The judges evaluated each of the 100 cases subjectively on a case by case basis based on the evidence put forth by the Petitioner and the Respondents. Judges took into consideration the following:
▪ Medical evidence
▪ Time Bar
▪ Informing of authorized persons
▪ Witness statements of both parties
Whilst the way in which the judiciary came to a conclusion in their judgements cannot be faulted persay, it was observed that there were discrepancies on how the amount of compensation was determined, as the amount and the ratio of compensation shared between the private individual and the state is determined at the discretion of the Judges. It was observed that over the years the number of cases had increased. Between the years 1981-1989  there were a total of only 8 judgements. However, between 2010-2019 there was a total of 42 judgements. Perhaps due to the increase in the number of cases the duration of cases had increased to more than 5 years over time. This would create an adverse impact on a Petitioner that would be required to visit the Courts frequently over the years to receive justice. This may also overtime
discourage future applications to seek redress against violations of Article 11.

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