Public Petitions Unit (Mahajana Pethsam)
This Unit was set up several years ago, in order to look into complaints made by any citizen with regard to injustices caused to them by any officer of a Ministry, Government Department, Statutory Board, Public Corporation, the Police or the Armed Forces in the performance/neglect to perform official duties.
This Unit comprises of a Deputy Solicitor General and two Senior State Counsel and the necessary support staff. Once such complaint is received in writing, these officers will call for a report or have a consultation with the relevant officials and consider as to whether there is any merit in the complaint that has been made. Where it is established that an injustice has taken place, necessary instructions are given to address such grievance and follow up action is taken.
Child Protection Unit (CH)
Starting from 1999, all IB extracts received by the Attorney-General on investigations relating to Child Abuse matters were classified as a separate subject within the Criminal Division and such files were opened under classification. Between 1999 and 2004 files under this classification were opened at an average of 1300-1500 files per annul.
Taking into account the need to priorities investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases and the Government's commitment towards enhancing Child Protection Measures, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal tabled by the Minster of Justice to set up a special unit within the Attorney-General's Department to attend to those files. Accordingly, a special unit was created in August 2004 and continues to operate within the Department.As at now this Unit consists of twelve Attorneys-at-Law who are attending to CH files.
In September 2011, a special project titled National Project for the Expeditious Processing and Passage of Cases of Child Abuse by the Criminal Justice System of Sri Lanka and For the Prevention of Secondary Victimization of Victims of Child Abuse was launched. The Attorney-General's Department, Ministry of Justice, Police and Ministry of Health work together as partners of this joint project, with the assistance of UNICEF.
Seven more Attorneys-at-Law have joined the existing staff of twelve Attorneys-at-Law to implement this project. Under this project, a mechanism of close supervision of Child Abuse investigations is established by requiring the Officer-in- Charge of the Police Station which receives a complaint on an incident of Child Abuse to submit a report to the respective Supervising Officer in the Attorney-General's Department - who is in charge of the Province in which the relevant Police station is situated - within 24 Hours of the receipt of the 1st complaint. The investigating officers are required to conclude the investigations within three weeks. The Judicial Medical Officers who examine the child victim will provide the complete Medico- Legal-Report within this initial period of three weeks, enabling the Officer- in-Charge of the Police Station to submit IB Extracts to the Attorney-General within a week there after.
The Attorney-General will examine IB extracts submitted by the Police and conclude action within four weeks of the receipt of the same.
The Pilot Project under this scheme was inaugurated in October 2011 in the High Court Zone of Gampaha. The operational area of the Pilot Project is now extended covering High Court Zones of Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Ratnapura and Embilipitiya. The Pilot project is to be further expanded covering High Court Zones of Tangalle and Hambanthota by November 2012. It is also proposed to expand the Pilot Project covering four more High Court Zonesie: Kandy, Nuwaraeliya, Kurunegala and Badulla. The National Project covering the entire island is scheduled to be launched thereafter.