Eugene Wilfred Jayewardene

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The Honourable Justice
Eugene Wilfred Jayewardene
Justice Eugene Wilfred Jayawardana (1874-1932).jpg
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon
Personal details
Born (1874-06-11)11 June 1874
Kalutara, Ceylon
Died 23 November 1932(1932-11-23) (aged 58)
Colombo, Ceylon
Nationality Ceylonese (Sri Lankan)
Alma mater Royal College Colombo

Justice Eugene Wilfred Jayewardene, KC (Sinhala:ඉයුජින් විල්ෆ්‍රඩ් ජයවර්ධන; 11 June 1874 – 23 November 1932) was a Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) judge, lawyer and politician. He was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ceylon and is the father of J R Jayewardene the first executive President of Sri Lanka.

Wilfred Jayewardene with his family.

Born to James Alfred Jayewardene, a Proctor who was the Deputy Coroner of Colombo, Jayewardene was educated at the Royal College Colombo. In 1897 he served as the acting Private Secretary to Justice Granier before leaving for England for his studies in law. After being called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1908, he returned to Ceylon and started a legal career. He was the President of the Law Students’ Union. He joined the Ceylon Light Infantry, a reservist regiment of the Ceylon Defence Force as Second Lieutenant and later made Captain.

Serving as an acting District Judge (1910–1911) and later a Police Magistrate, he became the Commissioner of Requests in 1916 and was a member of the Legal Council of Education. In 1920, he became a member of the Colombo Municipal Council. In May 1928, he was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of Ceylon and took a leading role in the revision and comparison of the new Criminal Procedure Code.

In 1905, Jayewardene married Agnes Helen Don Philip Wijewardena daughter of Muhandiram Tudugalage Don Philip Wijewardene and sister of the D. R. Wijewardena. They had nine children, most notable of whom were J R Jayewardene and Hector Wilfred Jayewardene, QC. His brother Colonel Theodore Godfrey Wijesinghe Jayewardene was a Member of the State Council for Balangoda electorate.

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