Vale Judge Christopher Weeramantry
It is with sadness that the Monash community learns of the passing of His Excellency Judge Christopher Weeramantry on 5 January 2017, at the age of 90.
An Emeritus Professor at Monash, Judge Weeramantry held the Sir Hayden Starke Chair of Law from 1972 to 1991. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Monash in 2001 and was made an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia in 2013 for his service to the law.
Born in Sri Lanka in 1926, Judge Weeramantry began his celebrated legal career in his native Colombo where he practised as a lawyer before being appointed to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, on which he sat from 1967 to 1972.
After leaving Monash in 1991, he was appointed a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and served as its Vice President from 1997 until his retirement in 2000.
During his time with the ICJ, Judge Weeramantry helped to establish environmental law as an independent branch of international law and was celebrated for his seminal argument against the legality of the use of nuclear weapons. He went on to serve as President of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.
Judge Weeramantry tireless advocacy for peace and intercultural understanding was evident in his scholarly career. He held professorships at universities including Harvard University, the University of Hong Kong, the University of Colombo and the University of Tokyo; and was the author of numerous books and articles on subjects such as human rights, equality and religious understanding.