CONSULAR FUNCTIONS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSULAR RELATIONS AND IDENTIFICATION OF CONSULAR FUNCTIONS

2. Establishment of Consular relations and authorisation office to perform Consular functions.

2A. Performance of diplomatic acts by Consular Officers.

3. Validation and translation of documents.

4. Administering of oath or affirmation and taking of affidavit.

5. Solemnisation and registration of marriages.

6. Proceedings on marriage being forbidden or caveat entered.

7. Registration of births and deaths.

PART II

IMMUNITIES, FACILITIES AND PRIVILEGES OF CAREER CONSULAR POSTS IN SRI LANKA

7A. Inviolability of Consular premises.

7B. Exemption from taxation.

7C. Inviolability of Consular archives.

7D. Freedom of movement within receiving State.

7E. Freedom of communication.

7F. Right of officer to with national of sending State.

7G. Information to be communicated to the Consular Officer of a sending State.

7H. Communication with relevant authorities.

7J. Consular fees and charges.

7K. Inviolability of Consular Officers and freedom from arrest.

7L. Liability to give evidence.

7M. Waiver of privileges and immunities.

7N. Exemptions.

PART III

IMMUNITIES, FACILITIES AND PRIVILEGES OF HONORARY CONSULAR POSTS IN SRI LANKA

7P. Protection of premises.

7Q. Exemption from taxation.

7R. Inviolability of Consular archives.

7S. Exemption from customs duties.

7T. Appearance at criminal proceedings.

7U. Protection of honorary Consular Officers.

7V. Exemptions.

7W. Applicability of the provisions of sections 7D to 7J to this Pan.

PART IV

GENERAL

8. Fees to be levied for performance of Consular function.

8A. Respect for the laws and regulations of the receiving State.

8B. Limited immunity where Consular Officers are nationals of receiving State.

9. Offences and penalties.

10. Regulations.

11. Interpretation.

SCHEDULE

4 of 1981,

18 of 2006.

AN ACT to give effect to the Vienna convention on Consular relations; to provide a legal regime to govern the Consular functions carried out by diplomatic and Consular Officers of Sri Lanka in foreign countries and to govern the grant within Sri Lanka of immunities, privileges and functions to Consular Officers of foreign countries; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Am by s 2 of Act 18 of 2006.]

[Date of Commencement: 11th February, 1981]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Consular Functions Act.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSULAR RELATIONS AND IDENTIFICATION OF CONSULAR FUNCTIONS.

[Ins by s 4 of Act 18 of 2006.]

2. Establishment of consular relations and authorisation office to perform consular functions.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, Consular relations shall be deemed to be established consequent to the establishment of diplomatic relations between two States. A Consular post may be established in the territory of the receiving State.

(2) Consequent to the establishment of Consular relations, Consular functions shall be exercised by a Consular Officer through a Consular post:

Provided that, Consular functions may also be exercised by diplomatic missions in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

(3) Every Consular Officer is authorised to discharge within a foreign State to which he is accredited or appointed, any Consular function in accordance with the provisions of any written law, or any Consular functions as identified in terms of the Convention and which are set out in the Schedule, provided that the discharge of such function is not prohibited by the laws of such foreign State.

(4) The functions set out in sections 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the principal enactment shall be exercised by the Consular Officers of a Consular post in addition to the functions set out in the Schedule.

(5) Every Consular post shall have its own Consular premises from which it shall discharge.

[S 2 subs by s 5 of Act 18 of 2006.]

2A. Performance of diplomatic acts by consular officers.

Where a sending State has no diplomatic mission and is not represented by the diplomatic mission of a third State, a Consular Officer may with the consent of the receiving State and without prejudice to his Consular status, be authorised to perform diplomatic acts:

Provided however, that the performance of such acts shall in no way confer upon such Consular Officer, the right to claim diplomatic privileges and immunities.

[S 2A ins by s 6 of Act 18 of 2006.]

3. Validation and translation of documents.

Upon the application of, a person who is a citizen of Sri Lanka, or any other person, a diplomatic or Consular Officer may—

(i) certify, attest, authenticate or do any other such act to validate any document;

(ii) translate any document from the Sinhala or Tamil language into any other language;

(iii) translate any document from any other language into the Sinhala or Tamil language;

(iv) certify the accuracy of a translation from the Sinhala or Tamil language into any other language; or

(v) certify the accuracy of a translation from any other language to the Sinhala or Tamil language.

4. Administering of oath or affirmation and taking of affidavit.

(1) Every diplomatic or Consular Officer shall be deemed to be ex officio a Justice of the Peace for the Republic of Sri Lanka and accordingly may administer any oath or affirmation or take any affidavit and such oath or affirmation or such affidavit shall be deemed to have been administered or taken, as the case may be, in Sri Lanka.

(2) Any diplomatic or Consular Officer administering an oath or affirmation or taking an affidavit under the provisions of subsection (1) shall not be held responsible for the truth of the contents, or the accuracy, of any statement made under such oath or affirmation or recorded in such affidavit.

5. Solemnisation and registration of marriages.

(1) Every diplomatic or Consular Officer shall be deemed to be an Additional District Registrar for any district in Sri Lanka within the meaning of the Marriage Registration Ordinance and the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act and accordingly such diplomatic or Consular Officer may, notwithstanding the provisions of section 23 of that Ordinance and section 16 of that Act, solemnise and register, in the Sinhala, Tamil or English language, any marriage under that Ordinance or Act, as the case may be, in the foreign country to which he is appointed or accredited, where at least one of the parties to the marriage is a citizen of Sri Lanka, as though such marriage was solemnised and registered in any district in Sri Lanka.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, other than the provisions of subsection (1) of section 8 of that Act relating to capacity, every diplomatic or Consular Officer shall be deemed to be a Registrar within the meaning of that Act, and accordingly such diplomatic or Consular Officer may register in the Sinhala, Tamil or English language, any marriage under that Act, in the foreign country to which he is appointed or accredited, Where at least one of the parties to the marriage is a citizen of Sri Lanka and whether the parties are inhabitants of Sri Lanka or not, as though such marriage were registered in any district in Sri Lanka.

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