r Ministry of Defence - Sri Lanka

Extradition Policy & Procedure in Sri Lanka

                 Extradition is a formal process where a fugitive wanted in a foreign State is found in another State, and a request is made to surrender the individual to face charges and serve a sentence. The substantive extradition law in Sri Lanka is the Extradition Law No. 08 of 1977. The preamble reads that this is a law to make provisions for the extradition of fugitive persons to and from Commonwealth countries and foreign States and to regulate the treatment of persons accused or convicted of offences in Sri Lanka who are extradited from Commonwealth or foreign States.

                Designated Commonwealth Countries

                 Fundamentally, application of this Act is restricted to the Commonwealth countries that are specified by way of a gazette notification by the Minister who is assigned the subject of extradition. The Minister may from time to time by Order published in the gazette declare that the provisions of this law shall apply in respect of any country within Commonwealth specified therein subject to such modifications, limitations or conditions as may be specified in such Order. These countries are deemed designated Commonwealth countries for the purpose of this law. Thus, should there be a request for extradition from such a country, then the provisions of the law shall apply in dealing with the fugitive offender concerned. Accordingly, 56 countries have been designated as designated Commonwealth countries by the Gazette Notification Extraordinary No. 2319/30 dated 14.02.2023.

Antigua and Barbuda Kenya Samoa
Australia Kiribati Seychelles
Bangladesh Lesotho Sierra Leone
Barbados Malawi Singapore
Belize Malaysia Solomon Islands
Botswana Maldives South Africa
Brunei Darussalam Malta Sri Lanka
Cameroon Mauritius Tanzania
Canada Mozambique The Bahamas
Cyprus Namibia The Gambia
Dominica Nauru Togo
Eswatini, Kingdom of New Zealand Tongo
Fiji Nigeria Trinidad and Tobago
Gabon Pakistan Tuvalu
Ghana Papua New Guinea Uganda
Grenada Rwanda United Kingdom
Guyana Saint Kitts and Nevis Vanuatu
India Saint Lucia Zambia
Jamaica Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

                Treaty States

                 The extradition law makes specific provisions with regard to foreign States outside the Commonwealth States. The Government of Sri Lanka has entered into extradition treaty with foreign States which provides the process for extradition of individuals to or from Sri Lanka. Such countries are deemed Treaty States for the purpose of this law. Extradition treaties are presently active between Sri Lanka and the following States;

           o Unites States of America
           o Republic of Turkey
           o Ukraine
           o Russian Federation
           o Vietnam
           o Peoples’ Republic of China
           o United Arab Emirates

                 These treaties are in conformity or substantially in conformity with the provisions of the extradition law. Once such a treaty is in place, the procedural steps with regard to extraditing a fugitive offender from Sri Lanka will have to be adopted in terms of this law.

                Central Authority for Extradition in Sri Lanka

                 Ministry of Defence is the Central Authority for extradition in Sri Lanka in terms of the Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 2289/43 dated 22.07.2022. Accordingly, extradition requests should be submitted to the Ministry of Defence through diplomatic channels. The request should be addressed to:

                         Ministry of Defence
                         Defence Headquarters Complex,
                         Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte, Sri Lanka

                 A soft copy of the extradition request may also be forwarded to the Central Authority secdefence@defence.lk for quick transmission in urgent cases as the diplomatic bag takes time to reach its destination.

                The extradition dossier should contain the following documents;

i.       The letter of request:
The request letter should be addressed to the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence from the Central Authority of the Requesting State.

ii.       Basic information:
           o The name of the accused/ convicted person
           o Passport Number/National Identity Card number
           o Nationality
           o Identity particulars (height, weight, skin colour etc.)
           o Photograph
           o Residential address of the fugitive

iii.       Brief facts of the case: Circumstances and the procedural history of the case cross-referring at the appropriate places the statements of witnesses and other documentary evidence, followed by a conclusion as to how the person sought is therefore has committed the alleged offences.

iv.       Warrant of Arrest:
Reference to an open Warrant of Arrest indicating offences alleged to have been committed by the person sought, in original or attested copy.

v.       Description of the relevant law: Copy of the provisions of law alleged to have been violated by the person sought, along with the maximum sentence applicable.

vi.       The evidence/documents establishing that the person sought is the same person against whom the warrant is issued.

vii.       Any other documents other than the above containing information relevant to the request of extradition.

                Requirements of the request;

o The extradition dossier should be on A-4 size paper.

o Each page of the dossier should be clearly and neatly typed, numbered and countersigned by the competent authority along with the official stamp.

o The stamp should be clear as well as legible, without any smudging.

o Similarly, all photocopies of the documents/information attached in support of the request should also be clear and legible without any smudging.

o When the extradition request is made to Sri Lanka from a country where English is not an official language, the whole dossier should also accompany a translation in the English language duly certified by the translator.

o In case the photograph and/or finger print of the accused are available the same should be certified by the person / concerned authority identifying the same. If more than one such evidence is attached, each one is required to be identified and certified separately.

o If any CD/electronic records like telephonic conversations, media files etc. are enclosed as documentary evidence, certified transcripts of the contents from a competent authority must be enclosed;

o The contents of the extradition dossier should be bound, with a separate synthetic cover on the top and bottom so that the contents remain protected even during transportation & storage.

o The original completed extradition dossier, along with two identical photocopies of the English translated version.