The Supreme Court has concluded the arguments put forward in support of and against the Online Safety Bill. Forty-six (46) Special Determination petitions had been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of this bill.

The parties relating to the petitions were directed to submit their written submissions regarding these Special Determination petitions. Later on, the Supreme Court’s determination over the proposed online safety bill is to be communicated to the Speaker.

The petitioners sought a declaration that the bill requires the approval of the people at a referendum in addition to the 2/3 approval of Parliament. However, the Attorney General informed the Court that the government is intending to introduce certain amendments to the proposed Online Safety Bill at the committee stage in Parliament.

The Online Safety Bill was published in the Gazette on September 15, 2023, and placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on October 3, 2023.

The petitions were heard before the Supreme Court three-judge bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Shiran Goonaratne, and Achala Wengappuli.


A group of lawyers, including Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC, M.A. Sumanthiran PC, Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC, Uditha Igalahewa PC, Jagath Wickremanayake PC, Senior Counsel Viran Corea, Upul Kumarapperuma, Suren Fernando, Thishya Weragoda, Pulasthi Hewamanne, Lakshan Dias, Darshana Kuruppu, and Chamath Fernando, appeared for the petitioners. Additional Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appeared for the Attorney General.