The Sinhala mooting team of the Department of Law of the University of Peradeniya was placed runners-up at the Henry Dunant Memorial Vernacular Moot Court Competition in Sinhala, held on 18 December 2019 at the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo. The competition was organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Sri Lanka. The mooting teams from the Department of Law have performed well at this prestigious competition, which is originally conducted in the English language. Previously, the Department emerged national champions after winning the competition in 2016, while it was placed third in 2015. The competition this year was unique as it was the first time that the competition was held in the Sinhala and Tamil languages. This was also the first time that the Department of Law took part in a Sinhala-mooting competition.
The Department of Law, which celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2019, organized the inaugural Sir Ivor Jennings Memorial Oration which was held on 13th of December 2019 at the Senate Room of the University of Peradeniya. The inaugural oration, titled "Constitutionalism, Governance and the People" was delivered by Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Colombo. Prof. Goonesekere, who was educated at the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya) and Harvard University, is one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned legal academics and jurists. She was the first woman to be appointed as Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo and has served in numerous national institutions and committees, including the University Grants Commission. She has published a number of books which are leading works especially on the legal status of women and children in Sri Lanka. The event, which was chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Prof. SHP Parakrama Karunaratne, was well attended, with numerous academics and professionals representing a diverse array of disciplines were present. The Jennings Memorial Oration will be an annual event organized by the Department of Law.
The mooting team of the Department of Law emerged the champions at the Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court National Competition 2016 organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, held at the premises of the University of Colombo on the 6th and 7th October 2016. The team not only became the champions of the competition, but also won the award for the best memorial and Ms. Agana Gunawardene won the award for the best advocate. The team; Ms. Agana Gunawardene, Ms. KithminiAviruppola and Ms. Pamoda Jayasundera, would be representing Sri Lanka at the South Asian Regional rounds which would be held in India.
Ms. Piumi Denagamage, Ms. Ruvini Katugaha and Ms. Thivanka Ratnayake, from the Department of Law have been selected to the Jean-Pictet Competition 2016 pursuant to an extremely competitive selection process by the Jean-Pictet committee. The competition, which is to be held from 19-26 March 2016 in Évian-les-Bains, France, is a prestigious international Humanitarian Law (IHL) competition, which affords the opportunity for participants to engage in the practical application of IHL, the theoretical aspects of which they learn within an academic environment.
The first batch of graduates of the Department of Law was recently enrolled as Attorneys-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. It is hoped that these newly enrolled attorneys-at-Law will begin to make a difference to the traditional practice of the law by taking forward the social justice vision of the new inter-disciplinary curriculum of the Peradeniya Department of Law.
Dr. Deepika Udagama, former Head of the Department of Law was recently appointed the new Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL). Previously, Dr. Udagama served as a member of the HRCSL and also of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka. She has also served on UN human rights bodies including as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Sub-Commission`s Co-Special Rapporteur on Globalisation and its impact on Human Rights. Dr Udagama was also the Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo.