Christopher Weeramantry

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Christopher Weeramantry (2007)

Christopher Gregory Weeramantry , Sri Lankabhimanya , (born November 17, 1926 in Colombo ; † January 5, 2017 ) was a Sri Lankan lawyer . From 1991 to 2000 he was a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and from 1997 to 2000 its vice-president.


Weeramantry attended the Royal College in Colombo from 1937 to 1943. He then studied law in Colombo and at the University of London , where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws and completed his studies with an LL.D. completed. He then worked as a lawyer at the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka from 1948 to 1965 , where he held the post of Commissioner of Assize from 1965 to 1967 and was appointed judge in 1967.

1972 Weeramantry left Sri Lanka and accepted a position as professor of law at Monash University in Melbourne . He worked there until 1991 and also taught as a visiting professor at numerous universities worldwide, including Tokyo (1978), Stellenbosch (1979), Florida (1984) and Hong Kong (1989).

Weeramantry worked as an arbitrator for the solution of numerous national and international conflicts. From 1987 to 1988 he was chairman of the committee of inquiry convened by the Naurus government to investigate the international exploitation of the phosphate deposits there. He was a member of the American Association of Arbitrators and an arbitrator at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, DC

From 1991 to 2000 he was a judge at the International Court of Justice and from 1997 served as its vice-president. He gained international fame with his Dissenting Opinion in the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons case (1995), in which he explained in detail why the use of nuclear weapons violates international law. He later served as ad hoc judge for Malaysia in the Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan case from 2000 to 2002 .

The fight against nuclear weapons was a particular concern of Weeramantry. In 1987 he had published the book Nuclear Weapons and Scientific Responsibility on this. He also served as President of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA). In 2001 he founded the Weeramantry International Center for Peace, Education and Research (WICPER) in Sri Lanka with which he campaigned for the promotion of intercultural understanding. He was also a member of the World Future Council .


Weeramantry has received several awards in the course of his career for his services to international law and peacebuilding. In 1993 he received the Mohamed Sahabdeen Award for international understanding in the SAARC region and in 2006 he was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education for his life's work in favor of a culture of peace. In 2007 he received the Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, for his pioneering work to enforce and strengthen international law . In the same year he also received the Sri Lankabhimanya , the highest national honor in Sri Lanka, from President Mahinda Rajapaksa . On April 12, 2008, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his life's work.

He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Colombo , Monash University, the National Law School of India and the University of London. He is an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia , recipient of the Sri Lankeeya Abhimanya Award for outstanding services for law and legal education in Sri Lanka (2003) and was awarded the Certificate of Honor for visionary and compelling argument by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in April 2005 for illegality of nuclear weapons .

Works (selection)

  • The law in crisis: Bridges of understanding . Capemoss, London 1975, ISBN 0-905048-00-8 .
  • Apartheid: the closing phases? . Lantana, Melbourne 1980, ISBN 0-908265-02-6 .
  • Nauru: environmental damage under international trusteeship . Oxford Univ. Pr., Melbourne 1992, ISBN 0-19-553289-9 .
  • Nuclear Weapons and Scientific Responsibility . Vishva Lekha, Sri Lanka 1999, ISBN 90-411-1289-8 .
  • The Lord's Prayer: bridge to a better world . Ligouri Publications 1998, ISBN 0-7648-0181-3 .
  • Universalizing international law . Nijhoff, Leiden 2004, ISBN 90-04-13838-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Justice CG Weeramantry passes away . The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka), January 5, 2017, accessed January 7, 2017.
  2. Dissenting Opinion available at ( Memento of the original from February 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Last accessed: June 6, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /