The Sri Lankan judiciary isn’t known for being fast and effective, with major issues being the long delays of cases and lack of convictions. Many cases drag on for years. It is reported that the average time taken from committing a crime to its high court judgement is 10.2 years. As a result of these issues, I think there should be a trilingual website that holds the Sri Lankan judiciary to account using information in the public domain similar to Manthri.lk by Verité Research that holds Sri Lankan parliamentarians to account. Websites and web pages holding the Sri Lankan government to account, have been increasing this year. Examples of this include the page tracking Sri Lanka’s Open Government Partnership commitments by Transparency International Sri Lanka, the Food Tax Tracker by Advocata Institute, a page on Manthri.lk tracking parliamentary election promises and the website Budget Promises by Verité Research that tracks Sri Lanka’s annual budget promises. A similar website for the Sri Lankan judiciary would add to the growing trend of Sri Lankan websites holding the government to account. I’ll now go into my ideas of how the site could function.
This site would have pages to give details of public interest cases such as cases of bribery and corruption. These pages would give summaries of what has been happening on the case with a link to news articles on the internet for each point. The summaries could be the accused summoned to an anti-corruption agency, arrested, released on bail, indicted, called to court etc. If it’s possible and not too expensive, there could be an artificial intelligence (AI) component that goes through news stories from a list of sites and then sends the links to the team behind the site. The AI component would send the site team the list of articles from news sites, and the team would go through those articles and put the article or articles that they think is best suited on the case page. The team could also not post a single story from the AI suggestions if they find the AI suggestions to not give valid stories and they also could add stories on their own account if important news about the case has been breaking, but the AI is not picking this information up.
In additional to pages on public interest cases, there would be pages that offer general statistics on Sri Lanka’s judicial system. Those interested in Sri Lanka’s judicial system who look at both pages on public interest cases and general statistics can see if there are improvements or if things are getting worse. This opens the possibility for a wide range of analysis and observations of Sri Lanka’s judicial system. Trends could be spotted such as if certain cases take longer or are less likely to secure a prosecution. This site could also show if a case is progressing at a faster pace than expected.
Those in the government may look at the site, especially people working on court cases, which could result in them making improvements to the judicial system from seeing problems of the system displayed in the site.
If you think you are capable of creating or being involved in such a website, I encourage you to work towards making this site a reality. It will give Sri Lankans important information on the state of the judiciary. People will be able to look up cases they have an interest in, find out important information about the state of the judiciary & draw conclusions and the site’s existence brings about the possibility of a better judicial system for Sri Lanka.