About the Law & Society Trust
The Law & Society Trust (LST) is a not for profit organization engaged in human rights documentation, legal research and advocacy based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Our aim is to use rights based strategies in research, documentation and advocacy in order to promote and protect human rights, enhance public accountability and respect for the rule of law. Some of our main activities include legal education and skills training, publications, rights awareness raising, dissemination of information, networking & coalition building at a national and international level.
The LST Library consists of over 8,500 volumes of books, including a rare collection of early Sri Lankan legal literature as well as contemporary archival material, such as New Law Reports, the Sri Lanka Law Reports, Legislative Enactments, Parliamentary Debates and Government Gazette Extraordinary as well as Indian Law Reports, academic journals, periodicals and reports.
Since 1993 LST has published the Sri Lanka: State of Human Rights, which is an annual survey of human rights issues, drawing contributors from across the human rights community.
Our monthly publication, the LST Review, which has appeared without interruption since 1990, is a journal of legal education pertaining to topical legal matters and human rights issues. The LST Review is edited by Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena.
Civil & Political Rights Programme
The underlying rationale of the work of the Programme is to ensure that civil and political rights, formally established in national and international law, are respected in fact and able to be enjoyed by average citizens in Sri Lanka.
The research has a specific relationship to ‘law in practice’ and legal advocacy in order to enable an infusion of practical legal knowledge into the research with the objective of building bridges between academic research and practical initiatives/developments in the legal system. The Programme attempts to engage particularly in practical advocacy with people at the grass roots level on whom the violation of rights impacts the most.
The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Programme
The ESCR Programme promotes awareness and respect for a range of economic, social and cultural rights; and their protection through advocacy on reform of laws, policies and institutions. Its strategies include fact-finding and documentation, and research and analysis, using publications and public forums; strengthening civil society networks and coalitions at national and regional-level, and direct action through public protests and solidarity initiatives.
Human Rights in Conflict Programme
The Human Rights in Conflict Programme engages in research, analysis, documentation, advocacy, activism and training along with other partners in order to influence decision makers.
The Law & Society Trust is a founder member of the Asian Forum on Human Rights and Development (Forum – Asia) and South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) and an active participant in several regional and international networks.