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RIC Law Journal 2021

  • Taking legal writing and research to new heights

The Editorial Committee of the Royal Institute of Colombo (RIC) officially launched RIC Law Journal 2021 on 1 November. The journal will be officially presented and launched at the RIC’s annual general meeting (AGM) for 2021, which will take place on 21 November at the RIC premises.

This week, Voice Unheard was in conversation with RIC Editor-in-Chief Dihanie Amerasinghe and Deputy Editor-in-Chief Abinesha Rajaratnam about the story behind their initiative.

The RIC Editorial Committee is a student-run committee of second and third-year law students studying and reading for their LLB from the University of London at the RIC. It works to create opportunities and organise initiatives with the primary goal of encouraging and improving legal writing and research skills among law students around the country, as these are necessary skills for the legal profession. The committee developed a legal webinar series on legal writing and research, as well as courses on legal referencing, in addition to producing the yearly RIC Law Journal.

“We hope our efforts to publish RIC Law Journal 2021 in the midst of the pandemic is appreciated and given due cognisance. Furthermore, we hope the readers and the legal fraternity perceive the journal to be a relevant, competent, and useful source of legal literature in the country,” said Amerasinghe and Rajaratnam.

Following are excerpts of the conversation.

What is the purpose of the journal, and who is behind the initiative?

RIC Law Journal 2021 is an entirely student-run law journal, published annually by the Editorial Committee of RIC on behalf of the Law Students’ Association. The journal encompasses a plethora of legal academic articles on various areas and issues pertaining to the law in a domestic and international context from law students, law graduates, and lawyers across the country.

What is the necessity for the publication of the journal?

As law students embark upon their undergraduate life, the art of legal writing can be daunting and a formidable challenge, especially to those who are new to the profession. The law journal, being entirely student-run, eliminates most traces of unfamiliarity with the process of analysing and providing one’s insight as to the current issues pertaining to law and makes the endeavour all the more accessible and inviting to budding lawyers looking to dip their toes in the craft of legal writing and research.

RIC Law Journal 2021 can be appreciated further as it acts as a focal point of enhancing knowledge, encouraging self-learning and improving the research and analytical skills of students, which in turn will contribute to making them better legal professionals in the future.

This journal also tackles important socio-legal issues and diverse aspects of law that are very much a matter of public interest and highlights the different legal perspectives. It will contribute in promoting legal writing and research, especially among law students in the country, with the added benefit of providing more knowledge and information on important and relevant legal topics to the public, hence playing an important role in society and in a law students’ legal academic journey.

Therefore, these are the reasons why the Editorial Committee felt the need to establish and publish RIC Law Journal 2021

What is contained in the journal?

RIC Law Journal 2021 sets out to publish articles that promoted new thinking and provided different perspectives on a wide spectrum of important legal topics and areas of public concern in today’s society. This volume of the journal was composed of a plethora of articles from law students, law graduates, and lawyers from across the country. The subject areas covered in this year’s publication include articles on administrative and constitutional law, commercial and contract law, company and corporate law, criminal law, employment and labour law, intellectual property (IP) law, international humanitarian law, and international sustainable development law.

The journal includes a collection of diverse and complex legal research articles on topics such as nuclear and biological weapons under international humanitarian law, the destination of baby farming in south asia, data privacy and protection, the abuse of the power of the presidential pardon, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing in Sri Lanka, legal dimension of working from home, trade secrets of the digital regime, the doctrine of frustration, maternity rights of working women, the Israel-Palestine conflict, the plight of domestic workers in Sri Lanka, and financial secrecy jurisdictions in the 21st Century, just to name a few.

The journal received an abundance of articles from law students from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Law College, University of Jaffna, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, and RIC this year.

In addition, the journal also received contributions from esteemed legal professionals in the country, such as Justice A.H.M.D. Nawaz, President’s Counsel (PC) Kuvera de Zoysa, and Prof. Ravindra Fernando.

What is the plan for this initiative’s future?

We hope for the law journal to reach a larger audience domestically and internationally. We aspire for RIC Law Journal 2021 to be recognised and perceived as a relevant, practical, and timely piece of legal literature and an important source of legal reference by all its readers. We also hope to receive and publish articles from international law students as well.

Were there any themes specifically oriented in this year’s journal?

This year’s law journal is composed mainly of articles on administrative and constitutional law, commercial and contract law, company and corporate law, criminal law, employment and labour law, IP law, international humanitarian law, and international sustainable development law. RIC Law Journal 2021 does not limit the authors to a specific theme in terms of article submissions and therefore offers a wide array of articles on various areas of law.

What is the history of this initiative?

The Royal Institute of Colombo Law Journal is a law journal published annually. The first and inaugural volume of the journal, RIC Law Journal 2020, was published and launched at the RIC auditorium on 6 March 2021 under the Editorial Committee for the year 2020. The main objective for the publishing and launching of the inaugural law journal was to accommodate law undergraduates with a passion for legal writing and integrate student reviewers in publishing the journal, which this year’s Editorial Committee continued to uphold and expand upon through the publication of RIC Law Journal 2021.

Who are the members behind this initiative?

The RIC Editorial Committee is the main team behind the compilation and publication of the law journal. The Editorial Committee is composed of passionate law students keen on assisting and contributing to the advancement of legal writing and research in Sri Lanka, especially among law students. The Editorial Committee for RIC Law Journal 2021 consisted of Editor-in-Chief Amerasinghe, Deputy Editor-in-Chief Rajaratnam, and Committee Members Adheesha Kulatunga, Amani Raji, Amanda Fernando, Amaya Wijesinghe, Astina Peter, Bernadine Rodrigo, Dhawalani Sumanarathne, Himaza Hilmy, Kaveen Saparamadu, Kavinka Fernando, Kivindi De Alwis, Lalinka De Silva, Nisal Pathiraja, Randev De Alwis, Rihini Jayasuriya, Redha Refai, Ruqaiyah Kamil, Sadiya Cassim, Shenaz Hajireen, Talal Fauz, and Tharini Ratwatte.

Each article is selected for its application of law, accuracy, and use of legal writing. The articles are chosen as per the reviewing and recommendations made by the Senior Review Committee which comprises many eminent and experienced legal professionals and legal academics in the country. Each article is vetted through a two-step review process.

The Senior Editorial Committee for RIC Law Journal 2021 comprises Dr. Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC, Prasantha Lal De Alwis PC, Uditha Egalahewa PC, Sarath Jayamanne PC, Seevali Amitirigala PC, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, Dr. Asanga Gunawansa, Dr. Sampath Punchihewa, Indira Nanayakkara, Wasantha Seneviratne, Dr. Thakshila Udyanganie, Dr. Sanath Wijesinghe, Shanaka Amarasinghe, Sandunil Meepe, Farha Huzair, Mahela Liyanage, Amila Siriwardena, and Dilrukshi Somasundaram.

Will the journal be available to the general public? If so, where and how can it be accessed?

The public will have access to the journal. A physical copy of RIC Law Journal 2021 – Volume II is available for purchase from the RIC Editorial Committee upon request via riclawjournal@gmail.com. The Editorial Committee is also currently working on making the journal available and accessible online by the end of the month on platforms such as the official RIC website, ResearchGate, and Academia.edu.