යෝජිත නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව (Third Republic Constitution) Chapter XXXII

 CHAPTER XXXII

 

THE ATTORNEY COMMISSION (ATC)

269.       There shall be the Attorney Commission (in this Chapter referred to as the “Commission”) which shall consist of three members appointed by President subject to the provisions of Article 185, all of whom shall be attorneys-at-law who have had at least fifteen years of proven experience in criminal law and have worked in the rank of Deputy Solicitor General or higher. President shall appoint the most senior member of the three members as the Chairman of the Commission who shall be known as the “Attorney General”, and other two members shall be known as “Solicitor General” each.

270.       Provisions of Articles 186, 187, 188, 190, 193, 194, 202, 203, 223, and paragraph (2) and (6) of Article 184, paragraph (5) of Article 195 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to this Commission.

 

271.       The quorum for any meeting of the Commission shall be all two members.

 

272.       (1) The Commission shall recruit to exercise, perform, and discharge its powers, duties, and responsibilities, persons of various qualifications and competencies.

(2) The Commission shall have the power to hire consultants, experts, interns, apprentices, and volunteers on fixed-term contracts.

(3) The Commission shall have the power to appoint, promote, transfer, and exercise disciplinary control and dismissal of such officers referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article.

(4) The topmost ranks of the Officials of the Commission, in order of superiority shall be the Attorney General (AG), Solicitors General (SG), Additional Solicitors General (ASG), Deputy Solicitors General (DSG), Assistant Solicitors General (SSG), Senior State Counsel (SSC), State Counsel (SC), and Junior State Counsel (JSC). All of these officials shall be attorneys-at-law.

(5) The Commission shall adopt guidelines and internal rules to conduct its business, and publish such rules and guidelines in the Gazette; and rules and guidelines shall come into operation by passing it with a Simple Majority in Parliament.

(6) Official of the Commission may be posted as a Judge of High Court.

 

273.       (1) The functions, duties, responsibilities of the Commission shall be:

 

(a)    To give expert legal advice to the Central and Local Government in respect of any legal matter;

(b)   Under Article 152, to examine Bills and advise President if any of the clauses are inconsistent with the provision of the Constitution;

(c)    Under Article 152, to examine Bills and advise Speaker of Parliament if any of the provisions of such Bill fall within any devolved power in respect of provisions of Chapter X;

(d)   To have Bills initially drafted by the Legal Draftsman be submitted to the Commission to check across the three versions of Sinhala, Tamil, and English copies thereof for inconsistencies among the versions, and to remove such errors if found; and to check for inconsistency with the Constitution, and work out such inconsistency in consultation with Cabinet of Ministers;

(e)   Under Article 61 and paragraph 161(1), to have the right to be heard by Supreme Court and Court of Appeal;

(f)     To advise public officers and State entities who are cited as respondents in a Fundamental Right petition, and to undertake their defense in cases after a careful consideration of the observations of such case:

Provided that it shall be the duty of the Commission to enshrine the Fundamental Rights of the people;

Further provided that where the Commission is of the view that a case warrants relief to the aggrieved party, the Commission shall advise relevant public official or the State entity towards resolving such grievance;

Further provided that in case where there are allegations of torture or any criminal offence as per the provisions of the penal code against public officer or State entity cited as respondent, the Commission shall decline to represent such officer or State entity in those proceedings;

(g)    To assist as amicus curiae the Courts in cases of Contempt of Court;

(h)   To prosecute or indict in High Courts;

(i)      To advise Constitutional Council and independent Commissions, if such Council or commission officially seek such advice;

(j)      To exercise other powers, duties, or responsibilities entrusted to the Commission by enactments in Parliament or State Assembly;

(k)     To advise, direct, and order the Police of Sri Lanka in legal investigations and proceedings;

(l)       To summon any officer of the State to attend his office with any books and documents in relation to a legal investigation or proceeding;

(m)  To check drafts of international treaty or agreement or memorandum for inconsistency with the Constitution and the law of the country:

Provided that such treaty, agreement, or memorandum shall not be signed unless the Commission ratifies it to be free from any inconsistency with the Constitution or the law of the country;

(n)   To represent the Republic in any civil action filed against the State, a State entity, or a State officer in their official capacity.

 

(2)  The Commission has a duty to court, to the State, and to the People to be wholly detached, wholly independent, wholly professional, and to act impartially with the sole object of establishing the truth, in its all appearances in Courts.

 

274.        Subject to the jurisdiction conferred on Court of Appeal under Article 164 and to the powers granted to Administrative Appeals Tribunal under Article 223, no court or tribunal shall have the power or jurisdiction to inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner whatsoever call in question any order or decision made by the Commission, in pursuance of any function assigned on such Commission under this Chapter or under any law.

 

275.       No legal prosecution initiated by the Commission shall be revoked unless all the three members assent to revoke such.

 

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