6th Research Forum of the Dept. of Public and International Law

6th Research Forum of the Dept. of Public and International Law

6th Research Forum of the Dept. of Public and International Law on “The crossroad of International Criminal Law and P犀利士
ublic International Law, and the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression”.

The Department of Public and International Law organized its 6th Research Discussion Forum on the 25th of May 2022 From 3.00 p.m. onwards. This special edition of the research forum invited two speakers from the International Criminal Court. The main speaker, Judge Sergio Ugalde currently serves as a Judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. With over 20 years of experience in the field of International Law and Diplomacy, he graduated as a lawyer from the University of Costa Rica and later obtained a Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. As Costa Rica’s most senior international legal adviser from 2000 to 2020, he was entrusted with representing and managing six cases before the International Court of Justice as counsel and advocate, and later as Co-Agent. He has lectured at The Hague Academy of International Law summer courses program on three occasions and has written several articles on international security and international law. He has also lectured about international diplomacy and the International Criminal Court. He has been a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration since 2005. From 2014 to 2018, Mr. Ugalde was appointed Costa Rica´s Ambassador to The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prescription of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where he served as Vice-Chair of the 20th Conference of States Parties. He was also Governor of the United Nations-sponsored Common Fund for Commodities, based in Amsterdam. He served as Costa Rica’s Representative to the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and was appointed Vice-president of the Assembly of States Parties and Chair of The Hague Working Group on the International Criminal Court between 2016 and 2017.  Importantly, he is also an adjunct professor of international law at the University for Peace. 

(To find his profile, click here:


During his lecture, he focused on the jurisdiction of the ICC with special emphasis on the crime of aggression. He articulated his views based on the principles of public international law and international criminal law and showcased the contemporary trends accordingly. He also shared his experience relating to the ICC and its functions. This provided valuable insights into the application and implementation of certain internationally recognized norms and principles.

Sonia Robla, the second speaker of the session, gave a very comprehensive speech on the Structure and jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and highlighted some key functions of the court. Sonia Robla is the Chief of Public Information and Outreach at the International Criminal Court. She has extensive experience in communications and public diplomacy mainly in the field of International Law and International Relations. Mrs. Robla has a degree in Law and postgraduate qualifications in International Relations and participates regularly in conferences, seminars, and public engagements.

The session was commenced by Professor N.S Punchihewa, Dean Faculty of Law, the University of Colombo with a welcome note. Then Professor (Chair) Wasantha Senevirathne, Head Department of Public and International Law, Faculty of Law, gave an introduction to the main topic and the main speaker of this session. The research forum arranged a question and answer session towards the end of Judge Ugalde’s speech. Finally, the session was concluded with a formal vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Isuru Liyanage.

Due to the pandemic situation prevailing in the country, the forum took place on an online platform yet was able to attract a large number of participants virtually. Any researcher or student of law interested in listening to his lecture and would like to access the materials shared by the resource persons is encouraged to write an email to pil@law.cmb.ac.lk requesting the same, mentioning their name, occupation, affiliation, and the purpose.