TRIAL respectfully submits to the Committee Against Torture that the current state of Sri Lankan legislation does not fully implement the Convention Against Torture, due to the absence of a definition of torture in conformity with Article 1 of the Convention,
the absence of provisions providing jurisdiction over foreigners present in Sri Lanka who have not been extradited, in conformity with Article 5(2), and the requirement that cases be transmitted to the authorities after the rejection of a extradition request, in contravention of Article 7.
TRIAL encourages Sri Lanka to ensure that its legislation is brought into conformity with the Convention Against Torture, and further encourages Sri Lanka to fully implement the Convention Against Torture by ensuring that no acts of torture over which Sri Lankan courts have jurisdiction go unpunished.
TRIAL respectfully suggests that the Committee Against Torture take the following action:
1. During the dialogue with Sri Lanka:
a. request the State Party to provide information regarding any steps taken to refer the issue of the definition of torture to the Sri Lanka Law Reform Commission;
b. request the State Party clarify the establishment of the jurisdiction of the High Court under the universal jurisdiction provisions of the Torture Act;
c. request the State Party to explain the absence of provisions establishing jurisdiction overforeigners present in Sri Lanka who have not been extradited, as well as the current requirement
that extradition must be rejected before a case of suspected torture is submitted to the authorities; and
d. request the State Party to provide information regarding the existing complaint and investigation mechanisms for allegations of torture.
2. After the dialogue with Sri Lanka:
a. recommend that the State Party ensure that the definition of torture is brought into conformity with the definition contained in Article 1 of the Convention Against Torture;
b. recommend that the State Party ensure suspected perpetrators of torture present in Sri Lanka are capable of being prosecuted under universal jurisdiction provisions;
c. recommend that the State Party ensure that cases of suspected torture are brought before the authorities prosecutions whether or not an extradition request has been made; and
d. encourage the State Party to fully implement the Convention Against Torture by establishing effective and functioning complaint and investigation mechanisms for all allegations of torture.
TRIAL remains at the full disposal of the Committee Against Torture should it require additional information and takes the opportunity of the present communication to renew to the Committee the assurance of its highest consideration.
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