Civil Society Initiatives to Promote the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka (CSI.ROL) was a three-year program that was originally slated for implementation from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2016, but received a no-cost extension through March 1, 2017, to complete the delivery of technical assistance and other services to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Sri Lanka Justice Institute (SLJI).
For the first two and a half years, the CSI.ROL program focused on supporting targeted civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote the rule of law in Sri Lanka. Through the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), the Legal Aid Commission (LAC), educational and research institutions, and five legal aid non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the program built capacity among counterparts to:
In its first year, CSI.ROL focused on building the human and institutional capacity of the BASL and LAC. The BASL, with CSI.ROL support, made significant improvements to enhance their management and financial capacity, including increasing revenues by more than 20 percent, improving member services, and addressing ethics complaints. CSI.ROL supported the BASL to adopt a professional management model and hire their first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in January of 2016. The program also supported the BASL to conduct an organizational assessment, identifying and prioritizing reforms, which led to a five-year strategic plan. The BASL improved their research capacity with the institution of a research unit and providing books and legal materials for their libraries in Colombo and the provinces. The BASL conducted membership and public perception surveys and published various legal and statistical reports, including an informational booklet on gender issues. With support from CSI.ROL, the BASL sought to address gender inequality with a forum on Women’s Rights and the Role of the Legal Profession in Promoting Gender Equality.