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Jaffna Law Conference 2024

The Jaffna Law Conference 2024 was held on the 27th and 28th of January 2024 at the Hoover Auditorium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna. The event was jointly convened by the Department of Law, Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna and Surana and Surana International Attorneys, Chennai. The objectives of the conference included: wider dissemination of knowledge and research to students and staff of the University, lawyers, and the general public; creating networks between the University and eminent figures in the field of law; and publicity for the work of the Department, and thereby the Faculty of Arts and the University.

The event saw over three hundred participants on each day, including members of the judiciary, the Bar, staff and students of the University, and members of the public. The Chief Guest on the 27th was the Hon. Attorney-General of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sanjay Rajaratnam, PC, and on the 28th, Justice Yasantha Kodgoda PC, Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. The Guests of Honour were Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, former United Nations Under Secretary-General and Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, PC. The keynote speakers included Dr. K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC, Emeritus Professor M. Sornarajah of the National University of Singapore; Professor Rohit De of Yale University, and Dr. V. Surana, Managing Partner and CEO of Surana and Surana International Attorneys, Chennai.

The Conference also featured two panel discussions featuring academics, researchers, and practitioners from various fields. The first was on “The future of public law in Sri Lanka: crises and opportunities”. This was chaired by Mr. V.T. Thamilmaran, retired professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo. The panelists included Prof Dinesha Samararante, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo; Nadeeshani Perera, Executive Director, Transparency International Sri Lana; Dr. Nishan de Mel, Executive Director, Verite Research; and Mr. Thishya Weragoda, attorney-at law. The second was on “The law’s role in overcoming Sri Lanka’s economic crisis”. The panel consisted of Dr. Nishan de Mel, who acted as moderator-cum-panelist; Dr. M. Thiruvarangan, Department of English and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna; Dr. (Mrs.) K. Karunaanithy, Head, Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna; and Ms. Bhavani Fonseka, of the Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Moreover, 23 abstracts, from participants in universities in India, the UK, Canada, and Sri Lanka, were also presented under four clusters, namely, Rights, Legal Institutions, Commercial Dimensions, and International Dimensions. The chairpersons of these sessions were: Mr. V.T. Thamilmaran, Prof. Sampath Punchihewa (Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo), Dr. Kalana Senaratne (Head, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya) and Mr. M.A.M. Hakeem, (Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo).

The conference received wide coverage in the media, and positive press coverage. We are grateful to the university administration, especially the Vice Chancellor, and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, for their support to us in this endeavour.

Below are some pictures of the event:

Hon. Justice Yasantha Kodagoda, PC,

Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka

Guests- Day 2

University staff, students, and members of the public

Guests- Day 1

Judges from the North and East