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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of relief can I seek from the Court of Appeal ?

  • If you are aggrieved by an Order / Judgment given by an original Court you are entitled to appeal to the Court of Appeal by way of a Revision or an Appeal.
  • You can file a writ / Bail/ PHC application through an Attorney-At-Law or by yourself. A Petition and an Affidavit, together with the documents Shall be filed in the Registry of the Court of Appeal, with the required number of copies. Once the case is filed, it needs to be supported for “Notice” on the Respondents. If the Court decides to issue notice on the Respondents, Court will fix the matter for steps and Argument.

Is there a time duration to file a case?

  • If it’s an Appeal, then the Notice of Appeal and Petition of Appeal must be filed within 14 and 60 days respectively
  • If it’s a Revision, then the application must be filed within a reasonable time.
  • If it’s a Writ application, it should be filed within a reasonable time.

How long will my case take to reach its finality?

In the normal Course of events, if the pleadings are completed in the way Court has nominated dates, it should reach Argument within one year.
However, due to intervening events, such as Objections not being filed in time due to extraneous circumstances, Counsel for either side is unable to be present due to personal reasons / Court is not properly constituted to reach the matter, intervening circumstances such as the Covid 19 pandemic etc., your case will get re-listed for the earliest convenient date.

How can I get a certified copy of a Judgement / Petition / entire case record?

Copy of a judgment can be downloaded from the Court of Appeal website from the year 2011 upto date. However, if you are in need of a certified copy, then you can apply it from the Registry of the Court of Appeal by payment of usual chargers . This is possible through an Attorney or by visiting the Registry.

If you are trying to get a certified copy of a pending case , in which you are not a party , but you need to intervene or file a separate case , since your interest are at peril due to the said case, you have to move Court by way of a motion , give reasons for your requirement for such document/s. Court will , on evaluation of the reasons you have urged, will either grant or refuse your request .

I have a grievance to get relief from Court of Appeal, but I don’t have money to retain an Attorney ?

You may file a case and seek relief in person. Yet if you wish to retain an Attorney-at-Law and if your income is less than Rs.25,000/- then you can visit the Legal aid Commission of Sri Lanka. After a free consultation and if there are grounds to move Court, they will prepare the Petition, Affidavit, together with your documents, after which the Legal aid Commission will file your case, without any expense to you. They will retain a Counsel for you at the Commission’s expense, If necessary.

Do I have to come to Court every day the case is called / taken up?

If your matter is a criminal Appeal or a Bail application, and the accused is in the custody of the Prison Authority, the Prison Authority will see to that matter or enable the accused to observe the case through a virtual hearing. Any other matter, unless you are required to be present in Court for some specific reason, you don’t have to come to Court at all and your Attorney can represent you.

Do I have to get into the witness box?

No. other than contempt of Court matters, you do not have to get into the witness box to testify However, if it is a Contempt of Court matter, and you have been listed as a witness, you will have to get into the witness box and testify. Except for contempt matters, in all other matters, your grievance is placed before Court by way of Petition and Affidavit. You are required to swear or affirm in an Affidavit before a Justice of Peace or a Commissioner for Oath. Since your affidavit is taken as evidence. You are required to state the absolute truth to Court and any misstatements or lies are punishable by the law.

Can I come to Court to observe the proceedings of my case?

  • Usually, all hearings are held in public unless there is a ruling by Court directing otherwise.
  • However, In the post pandemic situation all guidelines have be followed.

How can I know whether my case is listed, the next step or the next date?

  • You can get to know whether a case is listed on a particular date, the steps required to be taken before the next hearing and the next date fixed for hearing through the registered Attorney appointed for the case. The information can also be obtained through the Registry or more convenient and quickly through the Court of Appeal website:

How must I be dressed to come to Court?

  • If you are coming to Court, you must be modestly dressed, in sober colours.