Just Out – Tome on the Law

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 27 2021
Echo Just Out – Tome on the Law

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage

While there are a few exceptions, Sri Lanka’s academic talent is more often than not grossly under-utilised, often not utilised at all, which leaves a massive deficit in academic research within the country.

Usually, academic research is published on platforms such as journals and other publications that exist to publish research papers and documents. Yet often this is limited to State universities and their research. 

However, the youth of the country have started to realise the importance of being more inclusive in all forms of research, both within the State universities and outside of them, giving the opportunity for all students and academics the opportunity to publish their research and academic reasoning for the benefit of academia as a whole. 

One such organisation is the editorial committee of the Royal Institute of Colombo (RIC), who have published their second edition of the Royal Institute of Colombo Law Journal.

RIC Law Journal

Starting in 2020, the editorial committee began publishing the RIC Law Journal as a platform for Law students, graduates and lawyers throughout the country to be able to publish legal articles on diverse areas of the law and contribute towards sharing legal knowledge and understanding, contribute to legal literature in the country and to explore legal writing and research. The editorial committee does this project on behalf of the Law Students’ Association of the Royal Institute of Colombo (LSARIC) and RIC as a whole. 

What makes the RIC Law Journal even more special is the fact that it is a completely student-run law journal. 

Ceylon Today had the opportunity to learn more about this relatively new publication, discuss its relevance to Sri Lanka’s current legal academia today and the entire process of how legal articles are considered for being published in the journal.

For this, I had the chance to speak with none other than Editor-in-Chief Dihanie Amerasinghe and Deputy Editor-in-Chief Abinesha Rajaratnam, who led the efforts for this year’s edition of the RIC Law Journal to learn more.

Creating a platform

“The editorial committee of RIC comprises passionate second and third year students at RIC, who want to create a platform to promote academic writing and express their opinion on current legal topics and add to the legal literature in Sri Lanka,” Dihanie explained. She noted that the journal is open for contributions by anyone in the legal field of the country, with content spanning over a variety of legal topics and discussions. 

“We wanted to have a collection of different articles published focusing on different areas of the law that readers (both those in the legal field and the general public) might not have known about if the article wasn’t published.”

The process

Throughout all this, the editorial team has been strict on maintaining the quality of academic writing on offer by the journal which contains academic writing from a number of highly esteemed legal professionals and academics in Sri Lanka as well as from law students of the University of Colombo, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka Law College, RIC and others.

“All submissions underwent a two-step process where they were scrutinised by the editorial team before being reviewed by a senior editorial committee, which comprised experienced legal professionals and academics in the field of law,” Abinesha explained. 

“All submissions were reviewed, taking into consideration their subject matter, the given analysis, accuracy of the law, constructive comments, and from there we handpicked the best articles.”

Ceylon Today learnt that this year’s journal will include a collection of diverse and complex legal research articles on topics such as Nuclear and Biological Weapons under International Humanitarian Law, Data Privacy and Protection, the Abuse of the

Power of the Presidential Pardon, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing in Sri Lanka, the 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, Financial Secrecy Jurisdictions in the 21st century, and more.

“Besides all this, highlight was also given to legal writing regarding how the legal field has been impacted by the prevailing Coronavirus pandemic. We felt this was an important topic given how large of an effect the ongoing pandemic has made throughout the world, including in the field of law,” Dihanie added. 

For a purpose

“We wanted to create a platform for law students, graduates and legal professionals to publish their writing, and to encourage and develop legal academic writing as well as research among law students,” Dihanie continued. 

“Academic writing in the legal field can sometimes appear intimidating, especially for a law student. It’s unfamiliar and can be daunting to attempt. We wanted to create a platform for law students to have the opportunity to practice it and explore the art of legal writing.”

Overcoming obstacles

Of course, being a student-run journal that has only published its second edition and is in its infancy, finding the funding necessary to finance the entire operation has been a challenge for the team, who also had to balance their busy lives as students.

This is why the editorial team is grateful for all the support provided by Royal Institute as well as all those who have contributed to making the journal a success, including a number of law firms and lawyers, with special thanks given to Muve Colombo by Dihanie and Abinesha. 

The duo also wanted to give thanks to everyone who participated and contributed to making the law journal a successful publication. 

Continuing strong

“There’s been such great reception to the journal so far, and over this short period of two years, the journal has grown and expanded its field as well as its depth when it comes to academic value. We hope that those in the legal fraternity as well as the general public would continue to look forward to the journal’s publishing using it to enrich their understanding of legal principles for years to come,” Abinesha added in closing.

The RIC Law Journal 2021 was officially presented and launched at the Royal Institute of Colombo’s Annual General Meeting for 2021 which took place on 21 November 2021 at the Royal Institute of Colombo.

Those who are interested in ordering a copy for themselves can do so by contacting the editorial committee of Royal Institute of Colombo and placing an order via email [email protected] A digital copy of the journal will also be made accessible online.

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 27 2021

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