Christopher Weeramantry

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His Excellency Judge Sri Lankabhimanya
Christopher Weeramantry
Christopher Weeramantry in June 2007
Vice-President of the International Court of Justice
In office
Judge of the International Court of Justice
In office
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon
In office
Personal details
Born (1926-11-17) 17 November 1926 (age 88)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lankan
Alma mater
Occupation Judge
Profession Barrister

Sri Lankabhimanya Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, AM (born 17 November 1926) is a Sri Lankan lawyer who was a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 1991 to 2000, serving as its Vice-President from 1997 to 2000. Weeramantry was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka from 1967 to 1972.[1] He is currently an Emeritus Professor at Monash University.


Born 17 November 1926 in Colombo, Ceylon, he was educated at the Royal College Colombo. Where he was a senior prefect, editor of the Royal College Magazine, Chairman Senior Literary Association and won many class and school prizes as well as the Governor's Scholarship, Principal's Prize and the Empire Essay Prize for 1943 awarded by the Royal Empire Society.

He gained a BA (Hons.) from the newly established University of Ceylon and went on to gain a LL.B and a LLD from King's College, University of London. After completing the law exams at the Colombo Law College, he took oaths as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Ceylon in 1948.


Christopher Weeramantry with Dietmar Doering (Fourth from Right), the founder of the Asian-German Sports Exchange Program, Rajkumar Kanagasingam (Extreme Right), the author of the book German Memories in Asia, German University Students and others after a fellowship at Hilton-Colombo in 2006.

Beginning his law practice in Colombo that went on till 1965, he was appointed Commissioner of Assize, holding the post until 1967 when he was called to the bench as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ceylon. He retired from the Supreme Court in 1972 and moved to Australia where he assumed duties as Sir Hayden Starke Professor of Law, at Monash University in Victoria.

In 1991, he was appointed as a Judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, becoming its Vice-President in 1997. He presided as Vice-President over several important cases before the Court, including a case on the illegality of the use and threatened use of nuclear weapons.[2] From 2000 to 2002 he served the ICJ as an Ad hoc Judge.

Weeramantry serves on the Legal and Human Rights Advisory Board of the Genetics Policy Institute and the President of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.[3] In addition C.G. Weeramantry is a councillor of the World Future Council, and the Honorary Patron of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law.

He is currently Emeritus Professor at Monash University, having previously served as Sir Hayden Starke's Chair of Law from 1972 to 1991.[4] A former Lecturer and Examiner at the Colombo Law College, he was a Member of the Council of Legal Education in Ceylon. Judge Weeramantry has also served as a visiting Professor at Harvard University (2000), University of Hong Kong (1989), University of Florida (1984), University of Colombo (1981), University of Papua New Guinea (1981), University of Stellenbosch (1979) and University of Tokyo (1978). He is an honorary Member of Advisory Committee of Environmental Law Institute and Chairman of the International Council, Institute of Sustainable Development, McGill University.

Honors and awards[edit]

Weeramantry is a recipient of the following honours and awards:

Honorary degrees[edit]

He has received several honorary degrees;[10]


Weeramantry has authored the following books:

  • Apartheid
  • Armageddon
  • Equality and Freedom
  • Invitation to Law
  • Islamic Jurisprudence: An International Perspective (1988) Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-44668-2
  • Justice Without Frontiers 1
  • Justice Without Frontiers 2
  • The Lord's Prayer: Bridge to a Better World
  • Nuclear Weapons & Scientific Responsibility
  • Slumbering Sentinels: Law in the wake of Technology
  • The Law in Crisis: Bridges of Understanding
  • Universalising International Law
  • Call For National Reawakening
  • Tread Lightly on the Earth: Religion, Environment and the Human Future[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae". Weeramantry International Centre For Peace Education and Research. Retrieved 10 March 2007. 
  2. ^ "Keynote Speaker: Judge Christopher Weeramantry". Hiroshima-Nagasaki 2005: Global Hibakusha Film Festival. Tufts University Japanese Program. 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2007. 
  3. ^ IALANA | achieving disarmament and peace through law
  4. ^ Roll of Emeritus Professors – Records and Archives – Monash University
  5. ^ "Conferred Sri Lankabhimanya". Retrieved 2 December 2007. 
  6. ^ Right Livelihood Award for Justice Christopher Weeramantry
  7. ^ "Sri Lankan judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry wins UNESCO Prize for Peace Education". UNESCO Social and Human Sciences. 22 September 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2007. 
  8. ^ "Right Livelihood Award: 2007 – Christopher Weeramantry". Retrieved 4 October 2007. 
  9. ^ It's an Honour
  10. ^ Christopher Weeramantry
  11. ^

External links[edit]