The Foundation hosted the event in partnership with the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute
A roundtable discussion was held on 13 October 2020 with Judicial Medical Officers and Child Psychiatrists of Sri Lanka and the Max Planck Foundation with its local partner, the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute. The discussion was focused on challenges and best practices in relation to protecting the physical and mental health of children interacting with the justice system. This is the third of five consultations to be held with actors of the Sri Lankan justice system on the topic of children interacting with the justice system, the findings of which will contribute to the development of Best Practice Guidelines.
The event was held via video conference. Honourable Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, and one of the Foundation’s Managing Directors made opening remarks.
This was followed by discussions focusing on the mandate and functions of Judicial Medical Officers and Child Psychiatrists. The consultation explored the challenges and best practices in addressing those challenges in relation to treating children who are either victims, witnesses, or in conflict with the law. The discussion continued with topics including children in need of protection, children in alternative care, child victims and witnesses, and children in conflict with the law. Throughout the event, participants contributed their own experience during a lively and informative discussion of best practices in Sri Lanka.
To conclude, Honourable Judge Anushka Senevirathna, Magistrate Judge and Academic Coordinator of the Sri Lanka Judge’s Institute gave a closing address and expressed gratitude to the Judicial Medical Officers and the Foundation’s Research Fellows.
Future Roundtable sessions will be held with members of the Judiciary before bringing all stakeholders together for a multi-stakeholder Roundtable session. The final session is scheduled to take place at the end of November, after which Best Practice Guidelines will be compiled to advance the protection of children interacting with the justice system of Sri Lanka. The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office under the project “Capacity Building for Judges and Lawyers in Sri Lanka”.