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News Posted on June 13, 2017

Sri Lankan Judiciary Visit Caps Year of Growth for UC Davis International Law Programs

Distinguished judges and justices from one of the world’s most unique legal systems will visit UC Davis School of Law as a Supreme Court justice and three appellate court judges from Sri Lanka participate in a special judicial education program at King Hall in July. The visit serves to highlight a year of expansion for the School of Law’s renowned International Law Programs, which saw a 30 percent rise in LL.M. degree program enrollment during 2016-17 as well as increasing interest from judges, scholars, and legal professionals around the world.

The four members of the Sir Lankan judiciary will attend training sessions at King Hall from July 8-16. Their arrival comes on the heels of an April 10-16 visit by a group of 17 Sri Lankan justices and judges who received training on the U.S. judicial system, federalism, the Bill of Rights, recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and contemporary issues in intellectual property, cyberlaw, and artificial intelligence from Professors Carlton Larson, Ashutosh Bhagwat, Peter Lee, Cruz Reynoso, Anupam Chander, and Alan Brownstein. The justices and judges also visited with Judge Connie Callahan of the U.S. Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento and Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino “Tino” Cuéllar in San Francisco. 

The April program also included Sri Lankan Supreme Court Chief Justice Priyasath Dep’s presentation on the evolution of Sri Lankan law and the development of its constitution. Influenced by Dutch, Portuguese, English, Islamic, and community law over hundreds of years, Sri Lanka has developed a complex legal system that responds to the needs of its highly diversified population.  Called Roman-Dutch law, only South Africa shares elements of this special legal system. 

King Hall students were grateful for the opportunity to learn from and interact with the Sri Lankan judiciary members. “Visiting with Sri Lankan Supreme Court Chief Justice Dep and the other Sri Lankan Supreme Court justices and appellate judges is the highlight of my J.D. experience,” said Pas Jasjot Maan, a student at the School of Law and current President of MESALSA (Middle East/South Asia Law Students Association). “I’m fascinated by Southeast Asia legal systems and hope to visit there in the future.”

During the past year, the School of Law also hosted 23 students in the China University of Political Science (CUPL)/UC Davis School of Law Fall Academic Program, a joint program for CUPL masters and Ph.D. students. Gifted students from CUPL attended a 12- week academic program at UC Davis that covered key aspects of U.S. legal system such as constitutional law, administrative law, the Bill of Rights, contracts, and other important subjects. 

UC Davis School of Law increasingly has become a destination for law students and legal scholars from around the world. Enrollment in the International Law Programs year-long LL.M. degree program grew significantly during 2016-17, as the School of Law drew nearly 90 lawyers, judges, academics, and legal professionals from 17 countries including Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Peru, and the Philippines, among others.     

“This has been an amazing year of growth and change for the Law School’s global programs,” said UC Davis School of Law Associate Dean for International Programs Beth Greenwood. “We’ve hosted many legal professionals from around the world. These visitors enrich our law school community in countless ways and extend the global presence of UC Davis School of Law.  Our international visitors also open doors for our faculty and students to visit, teach, study, and share their knowledge in other legal systems through our growing worldwide network of international institutional connections and with legal professionals, academics, policy makers, judges, and prosecutors around the world.”