K. Sripavan

The Honourable Justice
K. Sripavan
க. சிறீபவன்
කේ. ශ්‍රීපවන්
44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka
Assumed office
30 January 2015
Appointed by Maithripala Sirisena
Preceded by Shirani Bandaranayake
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
In office
27 March 2008  30 January 2015
Appointed by Mahinda Rajapaksa
Preceded by Nihal Jayasinghe
Succeeded by Anil Gooneratne
President of the Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka
In office
5 March 2007  27 March 2008
Appointed by Mahinda Rajapaksa
Judge of the Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka
In office
29 May 2002  5 March 2007
Appointed by Chandrika Kumaratunga
Deputy Solicitor General of Sri Lanka
In office
22 February 1996  29 May 2002
Personal details
Born (1952-02-29) 29 February 1952
Nationality Sri Lankan
Alma mater Queen Mary and Westfield College
Profession Lawyer
Ethnicity Sri Lankan Tamil

Justice Kanagasabapathy J. Sripavan (Tamil: கனகசபாபதி சிறீபவன் Kaṉakacapāpati Ciṟīpavaṉ, Sinhalese: කනකසපාපති ශ්‍රීපවන් ; born 29 February 1952) is a Sri Lankan lawyer, judge, the 44th and current Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.[1][2] He is a former Deputy Solicitor General, judge and president of the Court of Appeal, and Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.[3][4]

Early life and family

Sripavan was born on 29 February 1952.[5][6] He is the son of Nadaraja Kanagasabapathy, an employee of Kankesanthurai Cement Factory. He was educated at Jaffna Hindu College between 1962 and 1972.[5][6][7] He joined Sri Lanka Law College in 1974 and passed out as an attorney at law in 1976, obtaining a first class in the Intermediate Examination.[5][6][7]


After qualifying Sripavan enrolled as an attorney-at-law on 23 August 1977 and practised law at the unofficial Bar of Sri Lanka between 1977 and 1978.[5][7][8] He then joined the Attorney General's Department as an acting State Counsel on 13 February 1978.[5][6][7][8] He became a permanent State Counsel on 1 January 1979.[8][9] He was promoted to Senior State Counsel on 3 March 1989.[5][6][8]

Sripavan was appointed Deputy Solicitor General on 22 February 1996.[5][6][7] He was the head of the Court of Appeal Unit and worked on Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court cases including Bills and Fundamental Rights applications.[10] He supervised state counsels and revenue matters.[8] Sripavan continued his legal studies whilst working, obtaining a diploma in Industrial Law from the University of Colombo in 1992 and Master of Laws from the Queen Mary and Westfield College, part of the University of London, in 1994.[5][8]

Sripavan was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal on 29 May 2002.[5][6][7] He went on to become president of the Court of Appeal on 5 March 2007.[6][8][11] He was appointed to the Supreme Court on 27 March 2008, replacing retiring Justice Nihal Jayasinghe.[6][12][13] He was acting Chief Justice on three occasions.[8][10]

Chief justice

In January 2013 43rd Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was controversially impeached by the Parliament of Sri Lanka.[14] Bandaranayake was subsequently removed from office by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.[15][16] Attorney General Mohan Peiris was appointed chief justice by Rajapaksa.[17][18] Rajapaksa lost the 2015 presidential election after which the government led by newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena ruled that Bandaranayake's removal was "null and void" as it had not followed proper procedure.[19][20] Peiris was sent a letter stating that his appointment had been illegal and then Bandaranayake was re-instated as chief justice on 28 January 2015.[21][22] Peiris however claims that his removal from office is unconstitutional, saying that he neither retired, resigned or vacated office.[23][24][25]

After resuming her position Bandaranayake announced that she would retire the following day - 29 January 2015.[26][27][28] Sripavan was sworn in as Sri Lanka's 44th chief justice on 30 January 2015.[29][30]


  1. Bastians, Dharisha (31 January 2015). "Sripavan takes office". Daily FT.
  2. "Sri Lanka Appoints Minority Tamil as Top Judge". NDTV. Agence France-Presse. 30 January 2015.
  3. "Senior Judge of the Supreme Court K. Sri Pavan is sworn-in as the Chief Justice before President". Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. 30 January 2015.
  4. "Justice K. Sripavan today took oaths as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka". Asian Tribune. 30 January 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Maniccavasagar, Chelvatamby (16 March 2005). "Justice Sripavan to be felicitated". Daily News (Sri Lanka).
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "K. Sri Pavan sworn in as new Chief Justice". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 30 January 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Balachandran, P. K. (29 January 2015). "Sripavan Second Tamil to Become Lankan Chief Justice". The New Indian Express.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rubatheesan, S. (1 February 2015). "'Today will be remembered as the day when time and nature brought about justice': CJ 43". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka).
  9. Warnakulasuriya, Deepal (29 January 2015). "Sripavan; the next Chief Justice". The Nation (Sri Lanka).
  10. 1 2 "News Justice Sripavan appointed CJ 44". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 1 February 2015.
  11. Malalasekera, Sarath (23 March 2007). "No Court can function without industrious Bar - Justice Salaam". Daily News (Sri Lanka).
  12. Malalasekera, Sarath (13 May 2008). "Bench, Bar welcome new Supreme Court Judge Justice K. Sripavan". Daily News (Sri Lanka).
  13. Samarasinghe, Sonali (23 March 2008). "President caught in a judicial bind". The Sunday Leader.
  14. "Sri Lanka Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is impeached". BBC News. 11 January 2013.
  15. "CJ receives order of removal". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 13 January 2013.
  16. "President removes CJ". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 13 January 2013.
  17. "New Sri Lanka chief justice Mohan Peiris sworn in amid opposition". BBC News. 15 January 2013.
  18. Bulathsinghala, Frances (16 January 2013). "New CJ of Sri Lanka sworn in". Dawn (newspaper).
  19. March, Stephanie (29 January 2015). "Sri Lanka reinstates impeached chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake". ABC News (Australia).
  20. "Sri Lanka's new president reverses 'revenge politics' of Rajapaksa regime". The Guardian. Associated Press. 29 January 2015.
  21. "Sri Lankan President appoints Tamil as Chief Justice". The Hindu. Press Trust of India. 31 January 2015.
  22. "Sri Lanka reinstates impeached chief justice". Mail Online. Agence France-Presse. 28 January 2015.
  23. Balachandran, P. K. (31 January 2015). "Sacked Lankan Chief Justice Says His Removal Was Unconstitutional". The New Indian Express.
  24. "My removal unlawful, claims Peiris". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 1 February 2015.
  25. ""I have not retired, resigned or vacated office:" Mohan Peiris". Sunday Island (Sri Lanka). 1 February 2015.
  26. Balachandran, P. K. (28 January 2015). "Sirisena Sacks Chief Justice Peiris and Reinstates Bandaranayake". The New Indian Express.
  27. "Shirani retires; Sripavan to be appointed CJ today". The Island (Sri Lanka). 30 January 2015.
  28. "Sri Lanka reinstates Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake". BBC News. 28 January 2015.
  29. "Tamil Sripavan appointed Sri Lanka's top judge". BBC News. 30 January 2015.
  30. "Sripavan sworn in as CJ". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 30 January 2015.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Shirani Bandaranayake
Chief Justice of Sri Lanka
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Mahinda Rajapaksa
as Former President
Order of Precedence of Sri Lanka
as Chief Justice of Sri Lanka

Succeeded by
Prasanna Ranatunga
as Chief Minister of Western Province

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