Two events organized by the Department of Law, University of Peradeniya under the auspices
of the RKW Goonesekere Memorial Endowment were held on 22 nd February 2023 at the
Seminar Room of the Faculty of Arts. The objective of the programme was to celebrate the
legacy of late Deshamanya RKW Goonesekere, a remarkable legal academic, legal practitioner
and a renowned defender of justice and rule of law in Sri Lanka. He was also the Chancellor of
the University of Peradeniya from 2002 to 2007. The RKW Goonesekere Memorial Endowment
established at the University of Colombo envisages that the programme rotates each year
among public institutions of legal education, and the Department of Law of the University of
Peradeniya was privileged with hosting the event this year. The distinguished speaker of the
events was Mr. Saliya Peiris, President’s Counsel, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.
The first programme was themed ‘Struggle for Democracy and Rule of Law in Sri Lanka: Role of the Legal Profession’, and was aimed at creating an opportunity for students to interact with eminent members of the bar who uphold the values considered sacred by Mr. Goonesekera and to promote the ideals of justice through law and integrity of the legal profession. The audience joined the session both in-person and online and comprised of undergraduates of the Department of Law–University of Peradeniya, the Faculty of Law–University of Colombo, the Department of Law–University of Jaffna and the Department of Legal Studies of the Open University of Sri Lanka. Participants commented that the programme was an eye-opener and an immense inspiration for them to embrace their future potentials in the legal profession as social engineers.
The theme of the second programme was ‘Democracy, the Right to Dissent and Preventing Sri Lanka from being a Failed State’, and was an opportunity for sharing creative thought on matters relating to governance and public law with the academic community and the larger public. Many distinguished invitees attended the session including Prof. M.D. Lamawansa–the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Dr. Maduranga Kalugampitiya–Head of the Department of English representing the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Deepika Udagama–Head of the Department of Law, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere–emeritus Professor of Law, University of Colombo, and members of late Mr. RKW Goonesekere’s family, Mr. Sunanda Udagalama–President of the Kandy Bar Association, legal practitioners, and academics from various departments of study. The Vice Chancellor in his speech congratulated the Department of Law for providing an opportunity for strengthening of a critical understanding of professional ethics and strengthening of the linkages between academia and the legal profession. Dr. Kalugampitiya, speaking on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, commented that the Programme was a fitting tribute to the great legal scholar and practitioner with an activist’s spirit as it provided an opportunity to share cutting edge ideas on a very timely theme with the larger community. It was evident from the opinions shared during the discussion which followed the presentation of Mr. Saliya Peiris, President’s Counsel and the feedback received from attendees of the Programme that it was remarkably insightful, timely, and thought- provoking.
The mooting team of the Department of Law, University of Peradeniya emerged as the champions at the Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court National Competition 2022. The competition held on 6 and 7 of October was organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo.
The team comprised Ms. Nilma Wijesinghe (LLB, Fourth Year), Ms. Tharusha Deegala (LLB, Fourth Year and Ms. Kaushalya Rathnayake (LLB, Fourth Year). Ms. Wijesinghe also won the award for the Best Advocate. The team will be representing Sri Lanka at the South Asian Regional Rounds scheduled to be held in Nepal.
In 2016 too the Department’s team won the national championship securing both the award for the best advocate and for the best memorial. In keeping with modern trends in legal education, the Department of Law offers several novel core courses on the law including Mooting. It is also a popular co-curricular activity among the undergraduates and teams representing the Department have participated and won in multiple national and international mooting competitions.
Here’s what the members of the winning team had to say:
“The biggest victory I personally achieved was the invaluable experience of skills of advocacy, researching and writing which I garnered throughout the competition. In addition to developing our argumentative skills, it helped us think through various complications and real-life issues that would arise during advocacy; thus compelling us to pursue logical and creative solutions effectively. This experience finessed our academic journey as a law student and I believe it will stay with us throughout our careers.” - Nilma Wijesinghe
“This experience was such an unexpectedly good one from start to finish since we pulled through each and every time winning or giving a good performance felt like an unfeasible task. Looking back, this was an achievement of pure team work where the spirit of the Law family at Peradeniya truly shone from start to end and I'm immensely grateful, fortunate and truly honored that I was able to be part of it all." - Tharusha Deegala
“Humanitarian Law being a new subject to us made it even more challenging, but our coaches ensured that we learned the content of the law thoroughly in a short period, to which we are extremely grateful. This win would be impossible without them. If this Mooting experience taught me one life lesson, it would be, that we can never predict that waters before us are too deep or impossible to pass through, while we still stand onshore, overthinking.” - Kaushalya Ratnayaka
An online workshop on 'Making Career Choices in the Field of Law' organized by the Department of Law of the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya was held on 25th September 2022. Ms. Ramani Muttettuwegama (Attorney at Law, Barrister at Law of Lincoln’s Inn, Managing Partner of Tiruchelvam Associates), and Mr. Saliya Peiris, PC (President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka), were the resource persons who conducted the workshop. The main objective was to discuss diverse career options in the field of law and emphasize the public interest dimension of legal practice. In their respective sessions, the resource persons discussed matters such as career options available to law students aspiring to become professionals, how to establish themselves in the legal field, what senior lawyers may require from them, what it takes to be an effective lawyer who contributes to the society, how to engage in public interest litigation as a young lawyer, and the benefits of engaging in public interest litigation. The participants could also direct their questions to the resource persons and get inspired by their personal experiences and success stories. The Coordination Unit of Internships, Volunteering, and Community Outreach (CIVCO) continues to support the Department of Law in organizing these workshops and other activities to promote its mission of providing a holistic legal education and promoting a vibrant student culture.
Holding of a webinar on this theme was prompted by the immense psychological pressures our students, staff and indeed
the larger community have been through in recent months. It is also the case that our Department views its work through the lens of interdisciplinarity,
with the linkage between law and psychology, among other such linkages, fully appreciated. We think that this webinar will be of great relevance
providing us with an exposure to the growing field of positive psychology both from theoretical and practical perspectives.
Click here for the recording of webinar
The Undergraduate Research Congress of the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya 2021, was held on the 31st of May 2022 at the Faculty of Arts. Hundreds of undergraduate students from the Faculty of Arts presented their undergraduate research studies at the Congress. Ten students from the Department of Law presented their research studies on the following interesting socio-legal issues.
The academics of the Department of Law participated in the Research Symposium organized by the University of New England on 6/11/2021. Six academic staff members presented papers at the Symposium held via Zoom. This collaborative effort took place as a result of the MoU between the University of New England and the Department of Law of the University of Peradeniiya.
The titles of the papers presented are as follows;
The mooting team of the Department of Law of the University of Peradeniya were able to secure the runners-up position in the National Rounds of the Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition of 2021, organized under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This renowned competition is based on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and is aimed at developing an increased awareness and interest in IHL and using it to further academic excellence among students and enhance their advocacy skills. This year’s National Rounds were held online for the first time via Microsoft Teams, owing to pandemic-induced restrictions. The three-member team comprised of Upeshala Swarnashantha, Ishani Pitigala and Nimasha Ranathunga following their second year undergraduate studies at the Department of Law.
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the Post of Temporary Lecturer at the Department of Law, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, until the 16th of April, 2021.
Call for Applications for Temporary Lecturer.PDF
A group of academics attached to the Department of Law of the University of Peradeniya, drafted a set of proposals to be submitted for consideration by the committee appointed to draft a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. The academic staff members of the Department of Law has always been deeply mindful of the duty of academics to contribute ideas on matters of public importance with a view to enhancing public well-being/the quality of national life.
As making of a Constitution is perhaps the most momentous event in the life of a democratic State, the fundamental belief of the academics of the Department of Law is that the key objective of a Constitution in a democracy is to uphold sovereignty of the people, including fundamental human rights, through accountable government. Given the central role the Constitution is expected to play in the lives of the people, the academics who drafted these proposals sincerely hope that this endeavour would make a positive contribution not just to the current generation, but also generations to come.
Attached below is the pdf of the document.
Proposals for Constitutional Reform.PDF
Attached below is the pdf of the document.
THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMMORATIVE PUBLICATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW.PDF
The mooting team of the Department of Law have been selected to compete at the Jean-Pictet Competition 2021 scheduled to be held in Indonesia during the month of September, 2021. The team was selected out of 80 teams from 36 countries who have applied to the 2021 Jean-Pictet Competition. The teams are selected on the basis of merit assessed from the legal essays they submit before the competition.
The Jean-Pictet competition is an internationally renowned competition based on International Humanitarian Law. It is organized in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It is a unique competition as the participants must compete in various role-play exercises and simulations of armed conflicts. They are assigned various roles of parties to the conflict whom they have to represent. This competition takes the law out of the text books and teaches the participants to apply it in day to day life.
The Team from the Department of Law have been selected twice to represent the University of Peradeniya at the Jean-Pictet Competition during the short period of 6 years since officially forming a mooting team. In 2016 the first mooting team of the Department applied to the same competition and competed with 48 teams from 31 different countries at Évian-les-Bains, France.
Ms. Navini Premalal, Ms. Dulmi Jayasinghe and Ms. Kaushalya Bowatte will attend the Jean-Pictet Competition in September 2021 and we wish them all the best.
A panel discussion on the legal dimensions of the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution organized by the Department of Law, University of Peradeniya was held on the 29th of September 2020 at the Seminar Room of the Faculty of Arts. The panelists were Professor Arjuna Parakrama of the Department of English, Dr. Kalana Senaratne of the Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, and Mr. Mohan Weerakoon PC, a member of the Bar Association Committee on the 20th Amendment. The discussion was moderated by Professor Deepika Udagama, Professor of Law. Each panelist expressed his views on salient features of the proposed 20th Amendment and their impact on governance bringing in different perspectives on the issues. Academics and students from the audience raised thought-provoking questions reflecting the deep interest in constitutional issues. The discussion was organized with the objective of raising public awareness on the proposed changes to the Constitution and creating a platform for progressive discussion. The Department of Law has organized several such discussions on public issues in the past in performance of its social responsibility as a leading institution of legal education in the country, and aspires to reach broader audiences with such programmes in the future.
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.Softcopy of the Keynote speech- Prof. Savitri Goonesekere
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.
On April 26, 2015 law students staged a demonstration as a group of concerned citizens calling for the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It was staged at the George E. de Silva Park in Kandy.
A candlelight vigil was similarly staged by law students on May 27, 2015 at Galaha Junction to express solidarity with victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence and to call on authorities to enforce the law in a stringent manner. The vigil was staged pursuant to news of several brutal rape cases around the country including that of teenager Vithiya in Jaffna.
Second year law students offered the mid-day meal to patients warded at the Cancer Ward of the General Hospital on June 08, 2015.
New Dynamics, Directions, and Divergences in the Humanities- International Conference organized by the Faculty of Humanities-University of Kelaniya-May 21-22, 2015
Suvimali Warnathunga- (A/10/LLB/043) (“Analysis of rising child abuse in the Polonnaruwa District in the context of the gap between law and society”)
The 2nd International Student Conference on Business (ISCB) on the theme “The future is global: Sharing student insights on gaining sustainable competitive advantage in the global business network.” - University of Kelaniya - 21st November 2014
N.P. Dissanayaka (A/LLB/09/010) (on “Debt Recovery Legislation of the Sri Lankan Banking Sector”), M.P.G.R.K.Marasinghe (A/LLB/09/022) (on “Use of Information and Communication Technology Law to Obtain Advantages in the Global Business Network”) and P.R.S.M. Peramune (A/LLB/09/027) (on “Application of E-Commerce in Sri Lanka During the Last Decade”) presented research papers at the above conference.
The student presenters were mentored by Ms. Kanchana Liyanapathirana, Lecturer (Probationary).
All final year law students recently engaged in a community-based research and awareness raising program undertaken as an assignment for the Law Clinic (LAW 498) course. Student groups were required to select local communities in close proximity to the campus in order to find out their legal needs and to conduct awareness raising programs on the available legal remedies. Building linkages with the local communities through educational activities is seen by the Department as a means of encouraging students to develop social empathy and to view the law as a tool for achieving social justice.
|01||Gohagoda||Site of improper waste disposal of the Kandy city giving rise to many social and health issues; illegal eviction from land by the state|
|02||Hindagala||Property disputes of the residents; issues of domestic violence; soil erosion due to unauthorized building|
|03||Pamunuwa-Pilimathalawa||Access to legal aid; general legal issues of the community|
|04||Hantana Estate-Hantana||Lack of ownership of land which the residents have possessed for decades (State land); non-payment of EPF/ETF contributions by the estate management; lack of adequate drinking water|
|05||Uda Peradeniya||Delay in awarding ownership of land to settlers by the government; drug addiction; child abuse|
|06||Dangolla||Illegal arrests; domestic violence; drug addiction|
|07||Balagolla- Industrial Zone||Devolution of property under the general law; EPF/ETF entitlements of garment factory workers; the right to compensation for violations of industrial safety|
The activity was guided by Dr. D. Udagama, Lecturer in charge of the Law Clinic with the assistance of Ms. Menaka Lecamwasam, Temporary Lecturer.
de lege musica- A literary evening
The Department held its first ever literary evening “de lege musica” (the Music of Law) on 11th June 2015. The well attended event sought to highlight the literary and performing talents of the students of the Department, affording a glimpse into lives beyond the written law. The event included recitals by law students of original compositions of poetry, free verse, spoken word poetry, musical compositions, and short stories in all three languages. An eclectic collection of performances based on themes ranging from the pleasures and vexations alike of life as university students to eye-openers on rape and abortion defined the event. The successful evening has set the tone for many more such endeavors by the Department in the coming years.
New Year Festival
The annual New Year Festival of the Department of Law of University of Peradeniya organized by the Law Students' Association was held on 5th of April 2016 at the Department premises. The event was made a success with the participation of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts; Prof. O.G. Dayaratne Banda, the Department Head; Dr. Samanmala Dorabawila, the Head and the staff of the Fine Arts Department and our beloved lecturers of the Department of Law. Students of all four batches made an immense effort to organize the games and to ensure that the day was full of entertainment for all participants. The Festival began with a combination of Sinhala and Tamil rituals of the New Year with the participation of the distinguished guests and students of all ethnicities depicting the true spirit of national unity. The students had arranged a table of Sinhala and Tamil sweetmeats and they made the day a tasty experience. A number of games were held throughout with the participation of the students and the staff. Winners were rewarded with gifts which they could share with the batch mates. The day came to an end after all these fun-filled activities adding a remarkable memory to the hearts of all.