Australian High Commissioner launches the second volume of Judge C. G. Weeramantry’s memoirs, “Towards One World: The Australian Years”
The Australian High Commissioner, HE Robyn Mudie, on 24 September launched in Sri Lanka the second volume of memoirs by renowned jurist and former Vice President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Judge C. G. Weeramantry, “Towards One World: The Australian Years”.
The volume commences with Judge Weeramantry’s move to Australia in 1972 to join Monash University as Professor of Law. It outlines the opportunities he received as an academic in Australia that saw him rise to international prominence as a lawyer and sociologist of the law.
The memoirs discuss Judge Weeramantry’s ground-breaking 1976 presentation “Equality and Freedom: Some Third World Perspectives”, his chairmanship of the Commission inquiring into the Worked Out Phosphate Lands of Nauru, his efforts to raise awareness about apartheid during his time teaching in South Africa and his responses and contributions over many years to emerging global issues such as the relationship between human rights, science and technology, environmental law and the issues raised by nuclear weapons and scientific ethics.
The memoirs also highlight Judge Weeramantry’s contribution to bridging the gap between the law and the layman. His book “The Law in Crisis: Bridges of Understanding,” inspired the establishment of the annual Australian “Law Week”, an event which has been held for over thirty years and has since come to be held in other countries, including Sri Lanka.
Speaking on the remarkable life of Judge Weeramantry HE Robyn Mudie said “This memoir covers an extraordinary range of academic and legal achievement. It documents just one chapter of a life lived on a very broad canvas and which has been marked by the ceaseless pursuit of more knowledge, and a commitment to always seeing the bigger picture. Judge Weeramantry has contributed a great deal to both Australia and Sri Lanka, but also to the global legal and academic communities”.
Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia and senior Monash academic, Dr Wickrema Weerasooria described Judge Weeramantry as a legal colossus and a world renowned jurist. He urged that the 20 or more books written by him be studied and the legal principles extracted from them be compiled into a practical code of action, which lawyers and judges could also act upon.
Judge Weeramantry expressed his deep appreciation to Monash University and Australia for the opportunities they opened out to him to observe the law in its international setting and for the friendliness shown to him by Australians at all levels. He also stressed the need for lawyers and judges to broaden their horizon and look beyond the law in the books to its actual operation in society and to take note of the philosophical perspectives of the law.
The event was attended by senior members of the legal, academic and diplomatic communities.