Hon. M.U.M. Ali Sabry PC, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. M.U.M. Ali Sabry, President’s Counsel, received his primary education at Kalutara and Zahira College Colombo, and entered Sri Lanka Law College in 1992. During his time at Law College he was a notable student leader and was elected General Secretary of the Law Students’ Union, elected President of the SLFP Law Students’ Union and also led the Law College Sinhala debating team. He was admitted to the Sri Lankan bar as an Attorney-at- Law in 1995.
Mr. Ali Sabry went into private practice, and within a short period of time established a very successful litigation practice. He was a highly sought-after counsel and appeared in several high-profile and landmark cases covering a wide spectrum of the law including those relating to public interest litigation, delict, medical negligence, commercial and intellectual property law. Many of his cases have been reported in the Sri Lanka Law Reports, and judgments from the cases handled by Mr. Sabry have appeared in numerous publications. In 2009 he was recognized for his work by being awarded the Outstanding Young Person of The Year for Achievement in Law in the year 2009.
In addition to his court practice, he was also an active member of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and held the post of Deputy President and Treasurer. He was a member of the Executive Committee and was the Chairman of the Junior Bar Committee and the Future of the Legal Education Committee of the BASL. He was a lecturer at the Sri Lanka Law College and was a member of the highly respected Law Commission of Sri Lanka, a statutory body comprising of reputed lawyers and President’s Counsel who possess specialized knowledge in civil, criminal and commercial fields of law.
Prior to accepting public office, Mr. Ali Sabry served in various Boards and Executive Councils in the state and private sector, including the National Youth Services Council, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the University of Sri Jayawardenapura. He served as Sri Lankan Consul General for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1997. He led the Sri Lankan Delegation to the Ship for World Youth ‘Nippon Maru’ and was a member of the Sri Lankan Delegation at the Human Rights Council sessions held in Geneva in 2012 and 2022.
Mr. Ali Sabry was conferred silk and appointed as President’s Counsel in the year 2012, the highest honour afforded to Attorneys-at-Law who have reached eminence in the profession.
On 12 August, 2020 Mr. Ali Sabry was appointed as Minister of Justice of Sri Lanka. Upon taking office, Mr. Ali Sabry commenced the unprecedented, ambitious, and wide-ranging reform of the Sri Lankan justice sector. The Minister’s justice sector reform programme is currently in the process of amending and introducing over 100 laws, some of which have not been changed in over a century. Over three hundred lawyers from the official and unofficial bars are currently working in over 30 advisory committees and 5 main sub- Committees on specialized areas of reform including Civil law, Criminal law and
Commercial law. Mr. Ali Sabry has also launched the digitization drive of the justice sector, the expansion of courthouses across the country and the introduction of specialized courthouses to address the issues of laws’ delays.
In 2021, Mr. Ali Sabry was invited to speak at an event at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in recognition of his efforts at reforming the Sri Lankan justice sector. He was also appointed to chair the meeting of Commonwealth Law Ministers on the legal aspects of the Covid-19 Pandemic and was invited as speaker at the World Law Congress in Colombia, 2021.
On 4th April 2022 Mr. Ali Sabry was appointed as the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka. As the Finance Minister, he headed the Sri Lankan delegation comprising of officials from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Finance to Washington D.C., USA for key negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Mr. Ali Sabry was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka on 22 July, 2022.