The Muslim Community in Sri Lanka is deeply saddened by the demise of one of Sri Lanka’s most eminent jurists and a globally acclaimed legal luminary, Sri Lankabhimanya Christopher Gregory Weeramantry. Justice Weeramantry was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka from 1967 to 1972 and was a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 1991 to 2000, serving as its Vice-President from 1997 to 2000.
Judge Weeramantry was undoubtedly well versed in all the major religions and its laws. He successfully interpreted legal principles with the teachings of the major religions of the world- Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism in his deliberations at the International Court of Justice. He has been considered a pioneer in bringing religious jurisprudence to the international court of justice.
His biggest contribution to the Muslim community was his book, ‘Islamic Jurisprudence, An International Perspective’, which has been introduced as follows: “Islamic jurisprudence is a much misunderstood system. The misunderstanding is due to lack of information and to centuries of prejudice. This book seeks to present information, not at present available in a single work, on the pioneering efforts of Islamic jurists to develop a comprehensive body of human rights, principles and practice, as well as a corpus of international law principles. The attempt to develop such international law principles long anticipated any similar work in other legal or cultural systems.
Human rights doctrine based upon the Qu’ran and the Sunna of the Prophet was expressed in terms, which will strike the reader as surprisingly modern. In international law, Islamic treatises anticipated the work of Grotius by eight centuries. It is hoped that this systematic exposition, not attempted before in such detail, will help considerably in reducing misunderstanding and the resulting tensions, as well as being of considerable value to the Islamic world. The work will be of interest not only to lawyers, but also to philosophers, historians, sociologists, political scientists and students of international affairs.”
In 1998, the city of Hague honoured him as the most outstanding Person who contributed to International Justice. A person of the caliber of Justice Weeramantry departing this world would leave a great vacuum in the hearts and minds of all Sri Lankans. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) on behalf of the Muslim community conveys its deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Sri Lankabhimanya Christopher Gregory Weeramantry would not be forgotten and will live long in the hearts and minds of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.
N M Ameen
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka