University of Colombo confers LL.D Honoris Causa to Kanag-Isvaran

Thursday, 30 November 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The University of Colombo last week conferred the Doctorate in Law (Honoris Causa) – LLD (Honouris Causa) to K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC. Following is the citation delivered by Dean Faculty of Law over the conferment:


Standing before this distinguished assembly, I am glad and honoured to present, on behalf of the members of the Senate and the Faculty of Law, Mr. Kanaganayagam Kanag-Isvaran, LL.B (London), Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and President’s Counsel, for the conferment of the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D Honoris Causa) of the University of Colombo.

One of the legal luminaries of the country, Kanag-Isvaran has been a legal light and a knowledge store-house who has been illuminating the legal profession, legal education, jurisprudence, legal framework in particular of the commercial sphere of the country, ever since he took up to legal practice. 

Having had his primary and secondary education at Central College, Jaffna, Kanag-Isvaran thereafter read for the Law Degree at the University of London and came out with flying colours. He went on to successfully complete the requirements to be called to the Bar of Lincoln’s Inn, United Kingdom. Kanag-Isvaran was called to the Bar of the Supreme of Court of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) as an Advocate in 1966 and 22 years later he was invited to take ‘Silk’ in 1988. 

As a Lawyer, Kanag-Isvaran’s commitment to finer points of law and practice has been well recognised and acknowledged. Well versed in the multiple areas of Private Law, Commercial Law and Public Law, the contribution made by Kanag-Isvaran to the development of law and jurisprudence in the country has been immense and significant. 

He is an accomplished legal professional whose skills in settling legal instruments and court advocacy are admirable due to their precision, lucidity and clarity. He has struck a name for himself to be of a perfectionist in whatever work he does and brings the best out of him in whatever tasks he undertakes. It is no secret that almost all the high profile commercial law cases in the country will have Kanag-Isvaran as one of the counsel who appeared for the cases. 

He has contributed immensely to the development of commercial law jurisprudence in the country. Thanks to his deep understanding of the relevant laws and principles, not purely from a parochial and insular perspective but from a broader and global perspective. This is further helped and enhanced by his splendid ability to put his views across easily and excellently.   

Many are the budding lawyers who have blossomed in the legal profession thanks to Kanag-Isvaran who has trained and guided them admirably in the professional work at his Chambers. They have now become well reputed and recognised in their own right having undergone training in the hands of Kanag-Isvaran. 

His contribution in the field of legal education has been enormous and invaluable. He has been a teacher of law in the two most long standing and reputed institutions of legal education in the country for well over four decades. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at the Sri Lanka Law College and at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo. 

Apart from lecturing to undergraduate and graduate students, he has ably guided many postgraduate students in their thesis research as their supervisors. He is also the Founder Director and a Member of the Council of Management of the Institute for the Development of Commercial Law and Practice. 

He was in the forefront of revamping the Commercial Law curriculum in the law teaching institutions in the country as well as training judicial officers in handling and managing high profile commercial law cases. He was a Member of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Law, and the Council of the University of Colombo. 

Kanag-Isvaran was invited by the Government of Sri Lanka and many National Level Bodies to chair, guide and advise many national level institutions responsible for strengthening and augmenting economic growth in the country.

To mention a few, he is currently chairing the Committee of Experts drafting the new Securities and Exchange Act, 2017, he was the Chairman of the Company Law Advisory Commission of Sri Lanka, Advisory Commission on Intellectual Property and the Technical Group on Drafting New Legislation on Commerce and Business. He also chaired the Committee of the Law Commission which drafted the ‘Mutual Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters’ Act No. 39 of 2000 and the ‘Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act’ in 2003. 

Kanag-Isvaran led the Team of local and foreign Legal Experts who drafted the Arbitration Act No. 11 of 1995. He was the Chairman of the Law Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. He was also a Member of the Legal Cluster of the National Council for Economic Development; of the Law Committee and Information Technology Committee of CINTEC – predecessor of the present-day ICTA. 

His expertise and contribution are not restricted within the shores of Sri Lanka. He was invited by the Commonwealth Secretariat, London to be a Member of the Commonwealth Expert Group on Modernisation of the Law of Evidence. He has been invited to deliver lectures and to present papers at many international forums. 

Kanag-Isvaran has contributed to legal scholarship immensely being engaged in sustained research.  Accomplished together with another, his recent work on ‘Company Law’ is considered to be a leading and authoritative one on the subject.

‘Arbitration Law in Sri Lanka’ – yet another work of him, co-authored with another, has gone into three editions so far. He has written copiously in the areas of commercial law and public law which have been of great assistance to the practitioners, teachers and students of law. Many of his articles and researched papers have found their place in respected journals and reviews published by reputed institutions. 

He has delivered orations and key-note addresses at various international and national law conferences, seminars, colloquiums, etc., organised by bar associations, chambers of commerce, professional bodies, business and commercial institutions, voluntary associations, and NGOs.  

These apart, he was a Member of the Commission for the Elimination of Discrimination and Monitoring of Human Rights in Sri Lanka as well as was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Council for Mental Health. He is presently the Deputy President of the National Trust and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the All Ceylon Hindu Congress. 

Kanag-Isvaran’s contribution to the development of the Faculty of Law and the University of Colombo has been very significant and constructive. As a Member of the Law Faculty Board initially and then the University Council he had not only served the main bodies, but also found time to serve in many sub-committees of these bodies and given his expertise pro bono. He has been very much involved in the academic and research activities as well as policy decision making functions of the University. 

It is such a legal luminary par excellence that I am proud and honoured to present to you for the conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, of the University of Colombo. It would be a fitting tribute to confer the LL. D (honoris causa) Degree on this genial, impeccable and respectable gentleman, Kanaganayagam Kanag-Isvaran, President’s Counsel, who has completed, in 2016, the golden jubilee of his admission to the Bar.

Chancellor, Your Grace, I am sure that the University of Colombo is rightly proud to have the opportunity of conferring the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws on Kanag-Isvaran, P.C., taking into consideration his erudite, invaluable and immense contribution to the legal profession, legal education, national laws, legal framework and development of jurisprudence of the country.