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Environmental Protection through Judicial Review: The Sri Lankan Experience


K. A. A. N. Thilakarathna

University of Colombo, LK
About K. A. A. N.
Institute of Human Resource Advancement
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The world is facing many challenges and some of them directly relates to the survival of the mankind. The environment is degrading at rates never seen before and this is one such question that has created a discourse on the protection of the environment at a global level. For a small country like Sri Lanka with riches of environmental beauty and the bio-diversity, the degrading of its environment has causes serious concerns. One can argue that, this could be due to the lack of a justiciable right to a healthy environment meaning that no one as of a right can claim for a healthy environment. The fundamental rights chapter found in the 1978 Constitution of the Democratic Socialist republic of Sri Lanka does not have provisions to protect the environment under it and while the directive principles recognizes the importance of the environment and the corresponding duties of the citizens of the country to protect and safeguard it, it is however, not justiciable meaning not enforceable in a Court of law. In this backdrop, the mechanism of judicial review which strikes out arbitrary decisions of the governmental authorities have facilitated the lack of constitutional provisions regarding environmental protection. This paper ex- amines how and to what extent the Sri Lankan Courts have been successful in achieving this target through the use of judicial review.
How to Cite: Thilakarathna, K.A.A.N., 2019. Environmental Protection through Judicial Review: The Sri Lankan Experience. Sabaragamuwa University Journal, 17(1), pp.15–23. DOI:
Published on 20 Jul 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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