Servicing abroad of documents

The Mutual Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters Act No. 39 of 2000 provides for the rendering of mutual assistance in civil and commercial matters between Sri Lanka and other countries and to give effect to the Hague convention in the service abroad of judicial and extra judicial documents in civil and commercial matters and to give effect to the Hague convention on the taking of evidence abroad in civil and commercial matters and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act No. 25 provides for the rendering of assistance in criminal matters by Sri Lanka and specified countries and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

As per the provisions of the said Acts, the Secretary to the Ministry, Minister in charge of the subject of Justice shall be the Central Authority for the purposes of this Act and the Ministry of Justice makes interventions for the attainment of the objectives of the Acts. To facilitate the judicial matters in this process and to regularize the entire procedure, the Judicial Service Commission has issued Circular No. 358 dated 12.02.2013.

It has detailed services applicable to each country and the process for obtaining such services and for making payments. However, certain amendments which are not included or additional to the Judicial Service Commission Circular No. 358 on making payments and have been made from time to time by some countries, i.e.

In referring foreign documents to Russia and Vietnam, those documents should be translated into the language of respective country.

  • For capital territory/ Canberra, a sum equivalent to 150 American Dollars shall be paid in cash  to the Ministry of Justice by visiting in person.
  • For all payments, the Ministry should be visited in person.
  • In the case of two accused residing at the same address, money should be paid separately for each accused.
  • Whenever a document is translated, it should be certified as a true copy by a sworn translator and his/her seal should be affixed to the translated document.
  • Even in a criminal case, specified amount of money shall be paid to Australia.
  • For the United Kingdom, Hague forms are mandatory for both criminal and civil cases
  • The countries for which the Hague form is mandatory are;
    • Canada
    • Australia
    • Germany
    • Japan
    • United Kingdom

Further, in order to make the above process more convenient, special attention should be paid to the following documents.

  • Hague form for Japan
  • Hague form for other countries
  • Hague form specimen required for filling the Hague form
  • Addresses of Central Authorities relevant to each country in order to fill the Hague form
  • Mutual Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters Act No. 39 of 2000. (In Sinhala, English and Tamil languages) web: www.lawnet.lk
  • Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act No. 25 (In Sinhala, English and Tamil languages) web: www.lawnet.lk
  • Gazette notifications in respect of the Mutual Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters Act No. 39 of 2000. (In Sinhala, English and Tamil languages)
  • Gazette notification in respect of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act No. 25 Act No. 25 of 2002 (In Sinhala, English and Tamil languages) web: documents.gov.lk
  • The above details can be downloaded from the website.

The sum of money to be paid by various countries to the Ministry of Justice for the service of summons

1. United States of America - US$ 96
2. Canada - Canadian $ 100
3. Indonesia - Sri Lanka Rs 1000
4. Japan - Japan Yen 1000
5. New Zealand - New Zealand $ 110
6. Singapore - Singapore $ 35

The sum of money to be paid for different states of Australia are as follows.

7. New South Wales - Australian $ 35
8. Northern Territory - Australian $ 30
9. South Australia - Australian $ 60
10. Victoria/ Melbourne - Australian $ 120
11. Queensland - Australian $ 30 and $ 1.65 for each kilometer after the first 12 kilometers
12. Western Australia - Australian $ 60

If you need further details, please contact the legal division over +94 113 020 665.

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