Professor, Department of Public and International Law and the Founding Director of Centre for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP), Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Prof. (Dr.) Kokila Lankathilake Konasinghe, who is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, is the Founding Director of the Centre for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP). She is the first ever Professor of Law for Environmental Law in Sri Lanka. She is also the Coordinator of the M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes and the Course Director in Environmental Law, of the Master of Laws programme (LL.M.) at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo.
Further to being a lecturer at the University of Colombo, Prof. Konasinghe was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Granada in Spain and a Visiting Research Fellow at the OP Jindal Global Law School in New Delhi, India in 2019 and 2015 respectively. She comes with a wealth of teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in national institutions such as University of Peradeniya, University of Moratuwa, University of Sri Jayawardhenepura, Ocean University of Sri Lanka, and the Open University of Sri Lanka. Within these roles, Prof. Konasinghe has supervised an extensive number of research dissertations and doctoral theses.
Prof. Konasinghe has contributed as the Editor-in-Chief to numerous national and international publications such as the South Asian Environmental Law Report, South Asian Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, and the Sri Lanka Journal of International Law to name a few. She has also served as an Honorary Member in the Editorial Board of the Maharashtra National Law University Law Review (MNLULR), published by Thomson Reuters at the Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai in India. Furthermore, Prof. Konasinghe has contributed as a reviewer in many national and international review panels, of which certain notable examples include the International Conference on Environmental Governance organised by the Central Environmental Authority, Journal of Human Rights Practice by Oxford University Press in 2021, Transnational Environmental Law by Cambridge University Press in 2020, International Journal of Governance and Public Policy Analysis, (Volume 2, Issue 1) and the Colombo Law Review among others.
In addition to academic pursuits, Prof. Konasinghe has been spearheading numerous institutional development projects within the University such as being a member of organizing committee of the University of Colombo in coordinating “Call to Earth Day” invited by the CNN media network, preparing a strategic plan to internationalise University of Colombo, organising and coordinating research symposiums, green debates, international webinars, and various other capacity building projects for students.
Outside the University framework, Prof. Konasinghe’s contribution can be largely seen in law reform forums, mainstream media platforms, expert panel discussions, public awareness workshops and national and international research conferences. Since 2021 she has been an advisor of the World’s Youth for Climate Justice which is a global campaign seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on human rights and climate change, and the co-advisor for “Project Bajho,” a UN Millenium Fellowship programme coordinated by the Kathmandu Law School to analyse the laws and policies regarding climate change and environment of the South Asian countries. In 2019 she co-chaired the, ‘World Congress on Artificial Intelligence in Disaster Risk Reduction’ at Global Symposium on Artificial Intelligence in Governance and Disaster Management organised by the Special Centre for Disaster Research Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and in 2018 she chaired a session at the International Conference on Governance for Sustainable Development organised by Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Collaboration with the Network of Asia Pacific Schools and Institutions of Public Administration and Governance.
Prior to becoming an Attorney-at-Law by profession, Prof. Konasinghe completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Colombo in 2000. She holds a Master of Laws from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Keele in the United Kingdom. Prof. Konasinghe has been awarded the Keele Research Institute Scholarship in 2008 and 2009, and the Scholarship for the Ph.D. Proposal from the National Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities & Social Sciences Sciences (NCAS) in 2005. Moreover, she was awarded the Legal and Judicial Reforms Project (World Bank) Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies in 2003.