Christopher Weeramantry

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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
Preceded byRaghunandan Pathak
Succeeded byAwn Al-Khasawneh
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon
In office
Personal details
Christopher Gregory Weeramantry

(1926-11-17)17 November 1926
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Died5 January 2017(2017-01-05) (aged 90)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lankan
Alma mater

Sri Lankabhimanya Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, AM (17 November 1926 – 5 January 2017) was 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 was also served as an emeritus professor at Monash University and the president of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms.


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 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.


Beginning his law practice in Colombo that went on until 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 was a councillor of the World Future Council, and the honorary patron and international advisor of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law.

He was 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. 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 was an honorary member of Advisory Committee of Environmental Law Institute and Chairman of the International Council, Institute of Sustainable Development, McGill University.

Weeramantry died in Colombo, Sri Lanka, of natural causes on 5 January 2017 at the age of 90.[5]

Honors and awards[edit]

Weeramantry is a recipient of the following honours and awards:

Honorary degrees[edit]

He has received several honorary degrees;[11]


  • The Law of Contracts: A Comparative Study of the Roman-Dutch, English and Customary Laws of Contract in Ceylon (2 Volumes, 1965), H.W. Cave & Co., Colombo 1967. Reprinted 1999, 2013
  • The Law in Crisis: Bridges of Understanding, Capemoss, London 1975. Reprinted by Sarvodaya, 2001.
  • Equality and Freedom: Some Third World Perspectives, Hansa Publishers, Colombo 1976. Reprinted by Sarvodaya, 1999.
  • Human Rights in Japan, Lantana, Melbourne, 1979.
  • Apartheid: The Closing Phases? Lantana, Melbourne, 1980.
  • An Invitation to the Law, Butterworths, Melbourne, 1980. Reprinted Sarvodaya 2007, Stamford Lake
  • The Slumbering Sentinels: Law and Human Rights in the Wake of Technology, Penguin, Melbourne, 1983.
  • Law: The Threatened Peripheries, Lake House, Colombo, 1984.
  • Nuclear Weapons and Scientific Responsibility, Longwood Academic, New Hampshire, 1987 (also in Japanese, published by Chuo University Press, Tokyo). Reprinted Sarvodaya, 1999.
  • Islamic Jurisprudence: Some International Perspectives, Macmillans, London and St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1988. Reprinted Sarvodaya, 2002.
  • Human Rights and Scientific and Technological Development, United Nations University Press, 1990 - work edited for and commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the United Nations University to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nauru: Environmental Damage under International Trusteeship, Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Impact of Technology on Human Rights: Global Case Studies, United Nations University Press, 1993 - work edited for and commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the United Nations University.
  • Justice Without Frontiers. Vol I: Furthering Human Rights, Kluwer Law International, 1997.
  • The Lord’s Prayer: Bridge to a Better World, Liguori Publications, 1998 (also in Spanish, German and Japanese). Reprinted Sarvodaya, 1998.
  • Justice Without Frontiers, Vol II: Protecting Human Rights in the Age of Technology, Kluwer Law International, 1998.
  • The World Court, Its Conception, Constitution and Contribution, Sarvodaya, 2002.
  • Universalizing International Law, Martinus Nijhoff, 2004.
  • Sustainable Justice: Reconciling Economic, Social and Environmental Law, With Marie-Claire C. Segger. Martinus Nijhoff, 2005.
  • Armageddon or Brave New World? Reflections On The Hostilities in Iraq, Sarvodaya, 2005.
  • A Call for National Reawakening, Stamford Lake, 2005.
  • Islamic Influences on International Philosophy and Law, Sarvodaya 2006.
  • Xenotransplantation: The Ethical and Legal Concerns, Sarvodaya Vishva Lekha, 2007.
  • Tread Lightly on the Earth: Religion, the Environment and the Human Future, Stamford Lake, 2009.
  • Towards One World: The Memoirs of Judge C. G. Weeramantry, Volume I: The Sri Lankan Years, Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research, 2010.
  • Towards One World: The Memoirs of Judge C. G. Weeramantry, Volume II: The Australian Years, Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research, 2012.
  • Our Lady: A Fount of Inspiration, Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research, 2013
  • Towards One World: The Memoirs of Judge C. G. Weeramantry, Volume III: The International Court and Thereafter, Stamford Lake Publication, 2014.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae". Weeramantry International Centre For Peace Education and Research. Archived from the original on 27 July 2007. 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. ^ "Justice C. G. Weeramantry No More". Sri Lankan Guardian. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Conferred Sri Lankabhimanya". Archived from the original on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  7. ^ Right Livelihood Award for Justice Christopher Weeramantry Archived 13 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Sri Lankan judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry wins UNESCO Prize for Peace Education". UNESCO Social and Human Sciences. 22 September 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Right Livelihood Award: 2007 – Christopher Weeramantry". Retrieved 4 October 2007.
  10. ^ It's an Honour
  11. ^ Christopher Weeramantry

External links[edit]