“FINAL version” of the Draft Data Protection Bill released by the Legal Draftsman’s Department

March 3, 2021

The Data Protection Draft Legislation, was presented to the Cabinet of Ministers on 18th December 2019. This Draft was prepared  after several rounds of public / stakeholder consultations. Thereafter, this Bill was further reviewed and discussed with stakeholders, including at a Workshop organized by the Junior Bar Committee of Bar Association of Sri Lanka, attended by several Justices of the Supreme Court & Court of Appeal (February 2020) and the Legislative Committee of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (March 2020).

The original Draft Bill was also reviewed by the Hon Attorney General for compliance with Article 77 of the Constitution and the preliminary Observations of AG received by the Drafting Committee in July 2020. Thereafter the Drafting Committee met several times and prepared its response to AG’s Observations. The Drafting Committee response to AG’s Observations were also reviewed by the Independent Review Panel, Chaired by Justice K T Chitrasiri and this response was sent to Hon Attorney General and Hon Legal Draftsman on 22nd October 2020.

Thereafter, several consultations were held between the Legal Draftsman’s Department team and the Drafting Committee, through November and December 2020. Despite the impediments caused by the Pandemic, consultations were continued online. The Legal Draftsman’s Department released this latest Revised Version in Mid January 2021. This version was reviewed again by AG’s Department and their Observations released on 16th February 2021.

Several changes have been made to the substantive provisions of the original Draft Bill, including re-arrangement of key provisions, based on the feed back of a number of stakeholders, including CBSL and Observations of AG & Ministry of Justice. After final approval of this version and translation, this will be submitted to Cabinet of Ministers and published as a Bill. At that point further amendments are possible.

1st March 2021

Data Protection Bill – Latest Draft