Justice K. T. Chitrasiri yesterday stressed it was the duty of the Bench and the Bar to act carefully and to develop the law to keep pace with the development of technology.
The newly appointed Judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Chitrasiri was speaking at the ceremonial sitting by the Bar to welcome him.
“As you all are aware, almost every crime that is being committed in the present day context has some connection or the other with technological development,” he said.
He said that even in remote areas, messages are being sent to various criminals to avoid detection by the police and day to day transactions including international commerce are being made frequently through the internet. “Similarly, interference with those transactions is also on the increase. Therefore it has now become a sine qua non to consider the contents of those messages of transactions made electronically, in order to arrive at the correct conclusion when such an issue comes before Courts,” he said.
|The newly appointed Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Chitrasiri. The Sunday Times story last week titled, ‘Chitrasiri J. appointed to Court of Appeal’, inadvertently carried a wrong picture.
Expressing some thoughts on the development of law in relation to the advancement of information and communication technology, Justice Chitrasiri also referred to a speech by the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva made at the inaugural session of the SAARC – BASL ICT law conference held in January 2009.
He said the Chief Justice making the comment had said that the use of the Sri Lanka’s relatively new ICT related laws is increasing but the enforcement and investigative aspects of these laws are sorely lacking.
Further quoting the comment made by the Chief Justice, he said, “The number of cases is increasing. So the alarm bells are ringing. But our system to detect such crimes and convict is a failure. I was alarmed by the percentage of cases that were not even investigated. 76% went un-investigated. This is a very bad number. If this continues people will lose faith in our system and Sri Lanka will lose the opportunity to be an outsourcing centre in this region.”
Justice Chitrasiri also noted the improvement that could be seen in respect of the infrastructure in Courts and the way in which technology is being used, which has resulted in minimizing delays in court proceedings and maintaining accuracy in day to day work.
He requested the Attorney General and the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka to encourage the members of the Bar to be pro-active towards the use of technology when attending to their work and to discourage them from taking up narrow technical objections which often tend to prolong court proceedings.
“Such an attitude will definitely help to build public confidence in the system and also to develop the law in the area of technology at least in some way to compete with other professions,” he said.
However, he urged the judges and the members of the Bar to be mindful when acting upon the evidence generated electronically.
Justice Chitrasiri pledged to uphold the rule of law and the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution keeping away bias, malice, fear and ignorance.
He also assured that he will act impartiality, with no ill will, without fear or favour and wisely in order to safeguard the rights of the people irrespective of the person’s creed, race, class, gender of his/her standing in society.