10th Anniversary Celebration of the Department of Public & International Law

The 10th Anniversary of the Department of Public & International Law and the PIL Day was celebrated by the Department on 29th January 2020.

In fact, we would have celebrated the Day on 10th December 2019 since it was ten years ago on this same day the Department was established. Unfortunate events have intervened and caused the delay by six weeks.

The event was graced by the presence of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Hon. Jayantha Jayasuriya, P.C. who made an excellent speech on the need for constructive discussion on current legal issues and hailed the Department for providing a forum for such high level academic engagement.

The Keynote address was delivered by the special invitee, Prof. V. Vijeyakumar, Vice-Chancellor of the National Law University of Bhopal, India and the President of the Consortium of National Law Schools of India. His address was well received by the audience as he elaborated on the need to develop the law in light of the developments taking place in the region and understand the intricacies in responding to global concerns.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo Senior Professor Chandrika Wijeratne addressed the gathering and earlier the Dean of the Faculty of Law Professor Indra Nanayakkara gave the welcome address.

As planned well in advance, we were also able to hold two academic panel discussions, to mark the Day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, with the participation of leading legal scholars and practitioners. The thematic discussions were held, as the name of the Department suggests, on Public and International Law related matters.

In addition, three competitions were arranged for the students, encouraging them to participate in extra-curricular activities and accordingly, poetry, drama and poster competitions on the theme of Public and International Law were conducted and the winners were awarded prizes in the form of book vouchers.

The full day programme was well attended by many leading personalities such as judges of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Court of Appeal, members of the minor judiciary, members of the official and unofficial bar, and academics from higher educational institutions.  The enthusiastic attendance of the students of the Faculty of Law was another remarkable feature of the event.

9.00 a.m. – National Anthem
9.05 – 9.10 a.m. – Lighting of Oil Lamp
9.10 – 9.20 a.m. – Welcome Address: Prof. Indira Nanayakkara (Dean, Faculty of Law)
9.20 – 9.30 a.m. – Address by the Chair: Prof. V.T.Thamilmaran (Head/Dept. of Public & Int. Law)
9.30 – 9.40 a.m. – Address by Senior Professor Chandrika N Wijeyaratne (Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo)
9.40 – 10.00 a.m. Address by the Chief Guest Hon.Jayantha Jayasuriya P.C. (Chief Justice of Sri Lanka)
10.00 – 10.45 a.m. – Keynote Address by Prof.V.Vijayakumar (Vice-Chancellor, National Law Institute University, Bhopal, India & President,
Consortium of National Law Universities of India)
10.45 – 10.50 a.m. – Vote of Thanks
10.50 – 11.00 a.m. TEA
11.00 – 11.20 a.m. Thematic Discussion
Constitution Making: The Policies, the Priorities and the Politics
Theme introduction by. Dr. Mario Gomez (Director, ICES)
11.20 – 12.45 a.m. Panel Discussion
Mr. Saliya Pieris P.C.
Mr. Uditha Egalahewa P.C.
Mr. Nerin Pulle, Deputy Solicitor General
Prof. Wasantha Seneviratne (Dept. of Public & International Law)
12.45 – 01.00 p.m. Discussion
1.00 – 1.05 p.m. -Vote of Thanks
1.05 – 2.00 p.m. LUNCH
2.00 – 2.30 p.m. Thematic Discussion
Criminal Law Reform: Moving from a Gender-specific to a Gender-neutral Law on Rape and the Question of state Policing of Consensual Sex between Same-Sex partners
Theme introduction by. Hon. Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare P.C. (Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka)
2.30 – 4.00 p.m. Panel Discussion
Mr.Anil Silva P.C.
Ms.Ayesha Jinasena P.C. (Additional Solicitor General)
Prof.Jeeva Niriella (Dept. of Public & International Law)
4.00 – 4.20 p.m. Discussion
4.20 – 4.30 p.m. Award Ceremony Vote of Thanks
04.30 p.m. TEA