Ivor Jennings

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Sir William Ivor Jennings
Sir William Ivor Jennings (1903-1965).jpg
Vice Chancellor University of Ceylon
Term 1942 – 1954
Predecessor None
Successor Sir Nicholas Attygalle
Born (1903-05-16)16 May 1903
Died 19 December 1965(1965-12-19) (aged 62)
Profession Lawyer, academic

Sir William Ivor Jennings, KBE, QC (Sinhala:ශ්‍රිමත් අයිවර් ජෙන්නින්ග්ස්) (16 May 1903 – 19 December 1965) was a British lawyer and academic. He was a prominent educator who served as the Vice Chancellor of University of Cambridge (1961–63) and University of Ceylon (1942–55).

Education[edit]

Sir Ivor was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Bristol (a boarding school), at Bristol Grammar School, and at St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

Career[edit]

Jennings joined the University of Leeds as a Lecturer in Law in 1925 and became a Holt Scholar of Gray’s Inn and was called to the bar in 1928. The following year he joined the London School of Economics as Lecturer in Law.

Jennings was sent to Ceylon by the British Government in 1942, as the Principal of the University College, Colombo with a mandate to create a university for that land, then a Crown colony.[1] The institution, on the model of University of London, was dubbed the University of Ceylon and was first established in Colombo, the capital city, then partially transferred in 1952 to a purpose-built campus in Peradeniya.[2] During World War II he served as the Deputy Civil Defense Commissioner.[3]

He was knighted in 1948, made a QC in 1949, and awarded the KBE in 1955. In 1955, Jennings received an honorary doctorate by vote of the senate of the University of Ceylon to recognize his work in creating and building the institution. A hall of residence at the University of Peradeniya is named in his honour.

In the same year (1955) he returned to Britain to take up the post of Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He subsequently served a term as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge, a position which at that time rotated among the heads of the colleges.

Constitutional law[edit]

Jennings was an authority on constitutional law and is author of a definitive book on the workings of the then British constitution. He advised D. S. Senanayake in drafting the Constitution of Ceylon to form the Dominion of Ceylon.[4]

He was a member of the Reid Commission from June 1956 to 1957, which was responsible for drafting the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia).

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • The Road to Peradeniya
  • Constitutional Laws of the British Empire (1938), later reissued as Constitutional Laws of the Commonwealth (1957)
  • Parliament (1939)
  • A Federation for Western Europe (1940)
  • The Law and the Constitution (5th Edition) (1959)
  • Principles of Local Government Law (4th Edition) (1960)
  • The British Commonwealth of Nations (4th Revised Edition) (1963)
  • Cabinet Government (3rd Edition) (1965)
  • The British Constitution (5th Edition) (1966)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
None
Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon
1942–1945
Succeeded by
Sir Nicholas Attygalle
Preceded by
Henry Roy Dean
Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge
1955–1965
Succeeded by
William Alexander Deer
Preceded by
Herbert Butterfield
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
1961–1963
Succeeded by
John Sandwith Boys Smith