Contract Law

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Chapter 1
Objectives of Report
* To get an idea about the law structure of Sri Lanka
* To study about contract law
* To get an idea about the low governing offerer and acceptance in Sri Lankan Law. Methodology
* Library and Internet research
Colonial History and the Law
Sri Lanka, formally known as Ceylon, is a multi-ethnic and multi-religion island nation in the Indian Ocean, near the southern coast of India. The ethnic and religious diversity of the nation, and also its colonial history, have a direct bearing on aspects of the legal system of Sri Lanka. The country’s largest ethnic group is the Sinhalese whose native tongue is the Sinhala language.  European control of what is now Sri Lanka began a few years after 1505 when inclement weather drove a Portuguese fleet of ships, commanded by Lourenco de Almeida, into what is now the Colombo harbor. Almeida, who also realized the strategic value of the island-nation in the context of trade routes, established cordial relations with the King in Kotte. The Portuguese did not introduce their laws in the coastal regions they controlled. The Portuguese were ousted by the Dutch during the 1600s. With the Dutch gaining control of Sri Lanka, primarily in the coastal regions, Roman-Dutch law gained a presence in the country. This “Roman-Dutch law has withstood many a tide of legal and political change to remain as the foundation of Sri Lanka’s general and common law.” The Dutch judicial system was well organized. Three major courts of justice were established: one each in Colombo (west), Galle (south), and Jaffna (north). The customary and personal laws are based on ancient customs of the Sinhalese and Tamils whose ancestors hailed from specific regions in the country, as well as the customs of the Muslims. In 1815, when the Kandyan Kingdom in central Ceylon fell to the British, for the first time in history, the entire country of Ceylon came under the rule of a foreign power. At this point, the application of Roman-Dutch law was extended to the whole country. The British established a modern system of judicial and civil administration. They respected the prevailing laws, namely the Roman-Dutch laws, and the customary laws that applied to the different ethnic groups. British rule lasted through 1948, when Sri Lanka gained its independence. Legal System of Sri Lanka:

- British Low- Kandiayan Law
- Muslim Law- Thesawalamai Law
- Roman-Dutch law
English Law has worked its way into Sri Lanka; partly through statutes which themselves enacted rules of English law, partly by tacit adoption by judicial decisions and partly by tacit use of English legal concepts. Among the statutes directly introducing English law into Sri Lanka is the Civil Law Ordinance No. 5 of 1852 (Cap. 79), which, by sections 2 and 3, introduced the law of English and in maritime and commercial matters (unless there is a contrary provision in a statute of Sri Lanka).  Roman-Dutch Law now generally applies in Sri Lanka when statutes and indigenous laws do not regulate the issue in question. Roman-Dutch Law represents in Sri Lanka an inherited legal tradition. It has co-existed with several systems of indigenous laws, and the English common law, creating a “distinct legal culture that is described today as a ‘mixed’ civil and common law system. In fact, when the British themselves declared Roman-Dutch law as the common law of Ceylon, Roman-Dutch law assumed even greater importance under the British than it had enjoyed under Dutch rule of Ceylon. Today, Roman-Dutch law exists only in Sri Lanka and South Africa. Kandyan Law applies to ethnic Sinhalese whose can trace their lineage back to the Kandyan provinces during the period of the Kandyan monarchy in central Sri Lanka. The Kandyan monarchy ceased to exist with the British takeover of central Sri Lanka in 1815. Kandyan Law does not apply to all Sinhalese who are now resident in the Kandyan provinces. However, Kandyan Law...
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