Attorneys in Sri Lanka
Attorneys at law form a legal profession in Sri Lanka. Attorneys at law are the only individuals authorized to represent others in all courts of law and are also authorized to give advice regarding any matter of law. There were two groups of legal practitioners in Sri Lanka before 1974 as advocates and proctors. Like barristers and solicitors in England. Under the Administration of Justice Law No. 44 of 1973 of the National State Assembly one group of practitioners were formed as Attorneys-at-law. After the aforementioned law came into operation both advocates and proctors are considered as Attorneys-at-law for all purposes. Senior trial attorneys may be appointed as President's Counsel. Advocates did not have offices and they could not visit an office of a Proctor. They had no power to act as notary-publics. Advocates appeared in civil & criminal cases under the instructions of a Proctor. Any person who wished to get the service of an Advocate he had to get it via a Proctor.
To practice law in Sri Lanka one must be admitted and enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. This is achieved by passing law exams at the Sri Lanka Law College which are administered by the Council of Legal Education and spending a period of six months under a practicing attorney of at least 8 years standing. To undertake law exams students must gain admission to the Sri Lanka Law College and study law or directly undertake exams after gaining a LLB from a local or foreign university.
Sri Lankan attorneys are required to wear robes and other items of court dress when they appear in court.
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