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(This simplified version of the third chapter of Political Principles and their Practice in Sri Lanka, deals with the Law and the structures that may be needed to ensure the independence of the third important component of government)

Types of law

The most important function of a government is ensuring the security of its people. This includes defence, the work of the security forces in dealing with external threats. But usually more important in daily life is internal security, the maintenance of  law and order within a country.

Religions of the World

Basic concerns in this respect can be seen in the rules of religions, even before codes of law were developed. All religions prohibit murder and robbery. Such actions are termed criminal acts, and dealing with them is the direct responsibility of the government. Though such actions are perpetrated by some individuals against others, they affect society as a whole.

Such activities are termed Criminal Acts, and government is expected to bring their perpetrators before the courts. When a case is brought under Criminal Law, the government prepares the case and prosecutes the accused. Since these are serious issues, and punishment is severe, the guilt of the accused should be clearly established. To avoid punishment of the innocent therefore, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise the accused is acquitted.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

June 2010
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