President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa to contest BASL election | Daily News

President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa to contest BASL election

President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa handed over nominations for the post of President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), for the election scheduled to be held in February. The nominations were received by BASL Solicitor-General and Returning Officer Dappula de Livera, PC, at the BASL auditorium, yesterday.

Kalinga Nandaka Indatissa received his early education at St. Mary’s College, Kegalle and at Royal College, Colombo. After passing his Advanced Level Examination, he joined the Sri Lanka Law College in 1982 at the relatively young age of 17 years.

At the Law College, he excelled in his academic studies and secured First Class Honours passes at the Preliminary Year Examination and the Final Examination. In fact, he was the only student who secured a First Class Honours Pass at the April 1985 Examination, and was placed first in order of merit.

During his career at the Law College, he won the Roman Law, Criminal Law, and Law of Evidence prizes. He functioned as the President of the Law College Jaycees, as well as the President of the Law College Moot Society. He also functioned as the student advisor of the Law College Human Rights Society and the Legal Aid Scheme. In 1984, Indatissa was awarded the Sir Cyril De Soyza Gold Medal for being the runner-up of the address to the Jury competition.

After having passed his final examination at the Law College, Indatissa devilled in the Chambers of President’s Counsels Eardley Perera, Tivanka Wickramasinghe, and D.S. Wijesinghe. He was admitted to the Bar in May, 1986.

After a short career in the unofficial Bar, Indatissa joined the Attorney-General’s Department as a State Counsel in January, 1987. In the Attorney-General’s Department, he served mainly in the civil branch and appeared in many original and appellate courts in Sri Lanka.

Indatissa has been attached to the staff of the Sri Lanka Law College since 1986. He initially commenced his teaching career as a tutor in Criminal Law. Later on, he lectured in several subjects such as Conflict of Laws, Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure – I and II, Legal History, and Law of Evidence.

He functioned as an examiner attached to the Council of Legal Education in a number of subjects until 2003. He has also been a visiting lecturer at the Surveyors Institute in Diyathalawa, at the Ceylon Hotel School, the Police Higher Training Institute, and has conducted many public lectures and seminars.

In 1991, Indatissa resigned from the Attorney-General’s Department and joined the unofficial Bar. Since then he has developed a very lucrative practice, mainly in areas involving Criminal Law, Intellectual Property, Customs-related matters, Exchange-control Violations, Computer Crimes, and Sports Law. He has also produced many juniors; some of whom have joined the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s Department, the Army, Navy, private practice, and many private sector organisations.

From his early days at the Bar, Indatissa was actively involved in the activities of the Bar and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. He functioned as the Convenor of the Junior Bar Committee in 1988 and 1989, and as the Chairman of the said committee in 1989, 1997 – 1998, 2001 and 2006.

In 1991, he was the Editor of the Colombo Law Society and was a member of the Colombo Law Society Committee from 1990 – 1993. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Bar Association in 1991, 1994 – 1997, and in 2001.

He was elected Chairman of the Law Asia Young Lawyers Group in 1993 and was a member of the Law Asia Council from 2002 to 2003. In 2002 he was elected Secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and functioned as its Secretary from 2002 to 2003. He was later appointed President’s Counsel in 2012.

Indatissa has also held public office on many occasions. He functioned as a member of the Central Environmental Authority from 1994 to 2000 and was a trustee of the Mahapola Higher Educational Trust Fund from 1994 to 1996. He was also the Advisor of the Mahapola Professionals Organisation from 1993 to 1995.

From 2002 to 2003, he functioned as the Senior Consultant to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and during the said period, he was also an Advisor of the Ministry of Interior. From 2004 to 2006, he was the Secretary of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka.

In May, 2010, he was appointed a member of the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket; a post he held until June, 2011. He was also appointed Director of Sri Lanka Telecom, PLC, in May, 2010.

Indatissa had the opportunity to extend his career in foreign jurisdictions as well. In 1999, he appeared in Monaco, France, at an arbitration held by the International Athletics Association; where he successfully defended Susanthika Jayasinghe and enabled her to participate in the Sydney Olympics, where she won the Bronze Medal.

He also defended Arjun Ranatunga at a match-fixing inquiry conducted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and represented former National Captain as a Junior Counsel to S.L. Gunasekera. In 2011, he defended Manju Wanniarachchi in Delhi, India and later, at Arbitration in Malaysia.

He also appeared in the Commission appointed to inquire into the assassination of General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and the commission appointed to look into the assassination of Lalith Athulathmudali. Currently, he is the Lead Counsel for former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain, Sanath Jayasuriya, in an investigation being conducted by the ICC.

Indatissa is also a prolific writer who has made a very valuable contributions to legal literature in Sri Lanka. He has written many articles to newspapers and law journals and has authored 46 books on many topics of Law. His books on Civil Procedure, Bail, Criminal Law, Electronic Transactions, Computer Crimes, Law of Injunctions, Drafting, and Supreme Court Rules are much sought-after by legal practitioners and layman alike.

He is also a much sought-after resource person who has contributed immensely to seminars, workshops, programmes, as well as the National Law Conferences organised by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. He is a regular resource person at the Practical Training programmes organised by the Sri Lanka Law College.

In August, 2018, he received the National Award for the Sustainable Development Goals Role Model Leader, awarded by the Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organisation in recognition of his contributions to legal education and the legal profession in Sri Lanka.

The elections for the post of President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka is scheduled to be held on February 20 and, if elected, Indatissa will take office as the 25th President of the BASL.


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