Judge Weeramantry wins posthumous award


 Dr. Romesh Weeramantry, left, accepts the Paik Prize on behalf of the Weeramantry family. Judge Paik, President of the Society, is on the right.

Judge Christopher Weeramantry was posthumously awarded the inaugural Paik Choon Hyung Prize at the 6th Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law in Seoul, Korea, recently.

Judge Weeramantry shared the prize with three other Asian giants of international law: Professor R. P. Anand of India, Professor Wang Tieya of China, and Judge Florentino Feliciano of the Philippines.

The prize was posthumously awarded to these eminent jurists for their work in promoting human rights, the rule of law and the judicial settlement of disputes in Asia.

The prize citation described Judge Weeramantry as a "jurist of striking range, depth, independence and erudition" and stated that his famous International Court of Justice judgements in the Gabcikovo Case and Nuclear Weapons Case "now appear to be more important than ever", and, further, that his work would "continue to inspire generations to come".

Presenters of the prize at the formal ceremony included Judge Paik, the Korean Judge on the Law of the Sea Tribunal in Hamburg, and Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. Accepting the prize on behalf of the Weeramantry family was his son, Dr. Romesh Weeramantry, who commented that his father would have been deeply touched to know that his Asian peers in international law have honoured him in this way.

On another note, and a promising sign for the next generation of Sri Lankan international law specialists, Dr. Kalana Senaratne of the Peradeniya University received during the same ceremony the equal second prize for an article by a Young Scholar, which was awarded by the Asian Journal of International Law and its publisher, Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Senaratne’s article on `Internal Self-Determination: A Third World Critique’ was commended by the judges as a "beautifully crafted analysis of this complex doctrine, skillfully deploying Third World critiques". It is pleasant to note that Dr. Senaratne had been a research assistant to Judge Weeramantry.

The Conference was attended by more than 600 delegates from over 50 countries, the largest in the history of the Society.

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