The post of Legal Draftsman was created in 1927, in anticipation of the new Constitution that was proposed by the Donoughmore Commission and Mr. Arthur Dyer-Ball who assumed duties as Legal Draftsman in September 1927, was the first person to be appointed to the newly created post of Legal Draftsman. 

The functions of the Legal Draftsman were described as the drafting of new Bills and amending legislation, the preparation of Statements of Objects and Reasons for such Bills, the preparation of all Proclamations, Notifications, Orders-in-Council, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations, conducting of interviews with Heads of Departments and the attendance of meetings of the Legislative Council and at Select Committees of the Council when Bills were being discussed.

A separate Department of the Legal Draftsman was created in July 1931 under the Legal Secretary. After the death in 1931 of the first Legal Draftsman, Mr.Dyer-Ball, no permanent appointment to the post appears to have been made till December 1933, during which time Mr.C.C.A. Britto Muthunayagam an Assistant Legal Draftsman was appointed to act as the Legal Draftsman. He was assisted by Mr.H.H.Basnayake, who was seconded for such purpose from the Attorney-General's Chambers. On 1st December 1933, Mr. Mervyn Fonseka was appointed to the post of Legal Draftsman. Mr. P. C. Villavarayan and Mr. H. L. Wendt, who were the First Assistant Legal Draftsman and the Second Assistant Legal Draftsman, respectively, assisted the Legal Draftsman. With the appointment of Mr.Mervyn Fonseka as the Solicitor - General in 1943, Mr.P.C. Villavarayan was appointed as Legal Draftsman and he functioned in such office until his retirement in 1949.

Mr.H.N.G.Fernando succeeded him as Legal Draftsman and he continued as such until he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court in 1955. He was succeeded by Mr.A.W.H.Abeysundere Q.C. also functioned as Legal Draftsman until he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court in 1962. Mr. Percy de Silva then succeeded Mr. Abeysundere as Legal Draftsman. Having held office for over a decade, Mr.de Silva died in office in 1972. Mr.O.M.de Alwis succeeded Mr.de Silva as Legal Draftsman and he functioned as Legal Draftsman until 1978 when Mr.P.N.K.Rodrigo in turn succeeded him. Mr.Rodrigo functioned as Legal Draftsman till 1984. He too died in office. Mr.N.J.Abeysekere was appointed Legal Draftsman in 1984 and he held office for a period of sixteen years until his retirement in December 2000. He was succeeded by Mr.Malwattege Edmund Walter Peeris who held office as Legal Draftsman for a brief period of one month. On his retirement in January 2001, Mrs. T.R.Perera succeeded him as Legal Draftsman and was the first woman to be appointed to the post during the eighty six year history of the Legal Draftsman's Department. Mrs. T. R Perera retired on 12th April 2012 and was succeeded by Mrs. P.I. S. Samarasinghe who held office till 19th December 2012. She was succeeded by Ms. G.S. A. De Silva as the Legal Draftsman. On his retirement on 15th September 2015 Mrs. D.S.H. Kumarajeewa succeeded him as the Legal Draftsman. On the retirement of Mrs. D.S.H. Kumarajeewa P.C. the present Legal Draftsman Mrs. Dilrukshi Samaraweera was appointed as the Legal Draftsman.

Holders of the office of Legal Draftsman

Name From To
Arthur Dyer-Ball 06th Aug 1927 18th Dec 1930
James Mervyn Fonseka KC 21st Dec 1933 07th Jul 1942
Ponnampalam Cumaraswamy Villavarayan 07th Jul 1942 07th Jan 1949
Hugh Norman Gregory Fernando 07th Jan 1949 16th May 1955
Asoka Windra Hemantha Abeysundere QC 06th Sep 1955 20th Apr 1962
Percy De Silva 02nd Apr 1962 23rd Dec 1972
Oswald Merwyn De Alwis 23rd Dec 1972 03rd Mar 1978
Punyajith Nanadakumar Rodrigo 03rd Mar 1978 12th Apr 1984
Nalin Jayantha Abeysekere PC 05th Dec 1984 16th Dec 2000
Malwattege Edmund Walter Peiris 17th Dec 2000 17th Jan 2001
Therese Rajkumari Perera PC 18th Jan 2001 12th Apr 2012
Padmini Indira Senaratne Samarasinghe PC 13th Apr 2012 19th Dec 2012
Godawattege Sarath Arunashantha De Silva PC 20th Dec 2012 14th Sep 2015
Deepani Sandya Hewa Kumarajeewa PC 15th Sep 2015 02nd Jul 2021
Dilrukshi Samaraweera 03rd Jul 2021  
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