State Attorney’s Division

The apex position in the State Attorney’s Division is held by the Senior State Attorney.  The Officers of the State Attorney’s Division provide legal assistance, handle conveyancing work and appear as Registered Attorneys for State entities in the Original Civil Courts within the jurisdiction of Colombo and in Appellate Courts of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. In coordination with the State Counsel assigned to the outstation Courts, island wide, the Officers of the State Attorney’s Division also liaise with Attorneys-at-Law, who are appointed by the Attorney General as Registered Attorneys as per Section 25(a) of the Civil Procedure Code, to facilitate appearances, applications or acts on behalf of the State in the outstation Courts within the respective provinces of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

It is also important to note that the Officers of the State Attorney’s Division are supported by the State Attorney’s Branch and Supreme Court Unit, comprising of non-legal staff that maintain file records of each Officer, assist to prep and file papers in the Court registry and dispatch documents. There is also a Typing Branch for the Officers of the State Attorney’s Division. The Finance Branch is resorted to, in circumstances where the tax cost is recovered in terms of the Order and Decree and for the payment of instructing fees of Outstation Registered Attorneys. Apart from this, the Officers of the State Attorney’s Division receive files from the Civil Branch, the Corporation Branch as well as the Criminal Branch.

Some of the key functions of the State Attorney’s Division are as follows:


  • Instructing work for all procedural aspects arising in civil litigation such as filing proxy; preparation and filing of Court documents inclusive of commission papers, decrees, writs of execution, processes pertaining to mutual legal assistance (international perspectives); subscribing and filing pleadings in both regular and summary procedures, appeals, leave to appeal or special leave to appeal applications, revision application, writ application, habeas corpus and fundamental rights application. The scope extends to criminal litigation as well.


  • Draft and forward proxy and other pre and post trial Court documents with instructions to Attorneys-at-Law appointed as Registered Attorneys to appear for State matters in outstation Courts.


  • Appear, file proxy and make application as Registered Attorney within the  jurisdiction of Colombo for matters such as pre-trial, post–trial, mention matters and incidental applications pertaining to cases in District Court, Commercial High Court, High Court exercising Civil Appeals and Court of Appeal to which State is a party.


  • Drafting Agreements pertaining to the Attorney General’s Department and providing advice to State Institutions and Corporations on the legality of Agreements to which State is a party.


  • Drafting pleadings to refer land acquisition matters under Section 10(1)(b) of the Land Acquisition Act, appear in Court until final determination and advise acquiring officers on the legal issues, whenever required.


  • Assist State Counsel in matters pertaining to Notice of Action, Rule matters, Arbitration and Amicus Curiae matters.


  • Formulating and sending out Letter of Demand in money recovery matters pertaining to accident of State vehicles, loan recovery from ex-officers, breach of agreement by private parties or entities and water board recoveries of unsettled water bills and to endeavor a mode of settlement and disposal of the matter.


  • Drafting pleadings in money recovery matters, whenever required.