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Cooray, Mannamarakkalage Joseph Anthony (1979) The Judicial Role Under the Constitutions of Ceylon/Sri Lanka: An Historical and Comperative Study. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In this thesis the attention is mainly focussed on the 'judicial power cases' of the 1948-1972 period, which laid down that separation of powers and independence of the judiciary were fundamental features of the Soulbury Constitution of Ceylon. In Part I an attempt is made to find out the extent to which these principles found expression in the colonial constitutional structure from 1796 to 1948. It will be shown how during this period the courts of Ceylon gradually strengthened their independent position. How the courts of Ceylon 'assumed' the power of judicial review of legislation and creatively interpreted the Constitution and so made law is discussed in Part II. The adoption of the 'autochtho nous constitution' of 1972, its objects, and the role of the Constitutional Court which was given the power to review Bills, instead of the more familiar judicial review of legislation form the subject matter of Part III. It will be shown how that court interpreted the Constitution in such a manner so as to defeat the very purpose for which it had been adopted. Chapters 3 and 9 deal with the judicial role during colonial rule and in independent Ceylon, respectively. The role of the Constitutional Court is assessed in Chapter 11. The epilogue reviews the development of the judiciary and its role with hindsight, outlines the changes brought about by the 1978 Constitution and examines how far the independence of the judges is respected in Sri Lanka. An attempt is also made to study briefly the causes for rivalry or disharmony between the judiciary and the administration.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:13

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