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The Chair and Governing Board of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law are pleased to announce the appointment of Judge Christopher Gregory Weermantry as a Fellow of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

Judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry

Judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry is former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice. In the course of his professional career of over five decades as lawyer, legal educator, domestic judge, international judge, author and lecturer, Judge Weeramantry has touched on a wide variety of topics essential to peace, cross-cultural understanding and education. He has written over twenty five books and lectured extensively on these topics in over fifty countries.

He is a Doctor of Laws of the University of London and also a Doctor of Literature (Honris Causa) of the same University. Before his appointment to the Court, he was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and a Professor of Law, Monash University, Australia.

Judge Weeramantry was the President of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) for many years. He is the founder of the Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research (WICPER). WICPER is based on Judge Weeramantry’s philosophy and has his vast corpus of research and writing as an informational base from which to develop its programmes.

Judge Weeramantry received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, 2006, in recognition of his commitment and concrete undertakings in support of the concept and culture of peace through his career. He has also received the Right Livelihood Award, 2007, sometimes described as the Alternative Nobel Prize and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 2008.

Judge Weeramantry has delivered several Opinions in the International Court of Justice which have helped to develop international law in the light of multicultural perspectives. For example, his Opinion in Hungary v Slovakia, [Case Concerning the Gabčikovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia), ICJ Reports 1997, pp. 88-119] is considered to be perhaps the leading exposition of the subject of sustainable development from a multi-cultural view point. For this reason he was also asked to address the judicial summit at Johannesburg on this topic in 2003, as a prelude to the Heads of State Summit on Sustainable Development.

Another of Judge Weeramantry’s outstanding Opinions is his Dissenting Opinion in the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion Case. In that Opinion, Judge Weeramantry declared categorically that the use of nuclear weapons offends every principle of international humanitarian law and that the use of these weapons is totally unjustifiable in any circumstances whatsoever. This is the Opinion most often cited on the illegality of nuclear weapons.

In 1998, when the City of The Hague celebrated its 750th Anniversary, it designated eighteen areas in which it had excelled over the centuries. One of these was international justice. A search committee was set up to identify one personality representing excellence in each of these areas. The personality selected to represent The Hague’s excellence in international justice was Judge Weeramantry and a book was published outlining the work of the eighteen personalities selected.

In 2003, the Australian Government granted the honour of Member of the Order of Australia to Judge Weeramantry. In 2007, Judge Weeramantry received the title of Sri Lankabhimanya (The Pride of Sri Lanka), which is the highest national honour of Sri Lanka awarded by the President of Sri Lanka.