Attorney at law (Sri Lanka)
Attorneys at law form a legal profession in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. Attorneys at law are the only individuals authorized to represent others in all courts of law and are also authorized to give advice regarding any matter of law. There were two groups of legal practitioners in Sri Lanka before 1974 as advocate
An advocate is a term for a professional lawyer used in several different legal systems. These include Scotland, South Africa, India, Scandinavian jurisdictions, Israel, and the British Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man...

s and proctor
Proctor, a variant of the word procurator, is a person who takes charge of, or acts for, another. The word proctor is frequently used to describe someone who oversees an exam or dormitory.The title is used in England in three principal senses:...

s. Like barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

s and solicitor
Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter including conducting proceedings in courts. In the United Kingdom, a few Australian states and the Republic of Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers , and a lawyer will usually only hold one title...

s in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Under the Administration of Justice Law No. 44 of 1973 of the National State Assembly
National State Assembly
The National State Assembly was the legislative body of Sri Lanka established in 1972 by the First Republican Constitution. The assembly replaced the Parliament of Ceylon ....

 one group of practitioners were formed as Attorneys-at-law. After the aforementioned law came into operation both advocates and proctors are considered as Attorneys-at-law for all purposes. Senior trial attorneys may be appointed as President's Counsel
President's Counsel (Sri Lanka)
President's Counsel is a professional rank, as their status is conferred by the president, recognised by the courts and wear silk gowns of a special design...

Advocates did not have offices and they could not visit an office of a Proctor. They had no power to act as notary-publics. Advocates appeared in civil & criminal cases under the instructions of a Proctor. Any person who wished to get the service of an Advocate he had to get it via a Proctor.


To practice law in Sri Lanka one must be admitted and enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka is the highest court of the nation of Sri Lanka. The Supreme Court is the highest and final judicial instance of record and is empowered to exercise its powers, subject to the provisions of the Constitution. The Court has ultimate appellate jurisdiction in...

. This is achieved by passing law exams at the Sri Lanka Law College
Sri Lanka Law College
Sri Lanka Law College was established as the Ceylon Law College under the Council of Legal Education in 1874 in order to impart a formal legal education to those who wished to be lawyers in Ceylon...

 which are administered by the Council of Legal Education and spending a period of six months under a practicing attorney of at least 8 years standing. To undertake law exams students must gain admission to the Sri Lanka Law College and study law or directly under take exams after gaining a LLB from a local or foreign university.


Those who become attorneys at law may become judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

s, trial counsel
A counsel or a counselor gives advice, more particularly in legal matters.-U.K. and Ireland:The legal system in England uses the term counsel as an approximate synonym for a barrister-at-law, and may apply it to mean either a single person who pleads a cause, or collectively, the body of barristers...

s or litigators.


Sri Lankan attorneys are required to wear robes and other items of court dress
Court dress
Court dress comprises the style of clothes prescribed for courts of law, and formerly for royal courts.- Where court dress is worn :Court dress is worn at hearings in open court in all Senior Courts of England and Wales and in county courts. However, court dress may be dispensed with at the option...

when they appear in court.
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