Death of Moragodage Christopher Walter Pinto – The Island
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces with deep sadness the death of Mr. Moragodage Christopher Walter Pinto, known as Mr. Chris Pinto, which occurred on July 21, 2022 in The Hague, the Netherlands. Mr. Pinto was the first legal adviser to the Foreign Office which established the legal division of the ministry in 1967.
Mr. Pinto was a recognized jurist both locally and internationally. He studied law at the University of Sri Lanka, Peradeniya and Sri Lanka Law College, and passed out as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and majored in international law at Magdalene College in the University of Cambridge.
Some of the key positions he held include: 1967-76 Legal Adviser and Head of the Legal Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1976-80 Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Austria, 1968 -69 Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Conference on the Law of Treaties, Vienna, 1967-80 Representative of Sri Lanka to the Sixth (Legal) Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, 1968-82 Representative of Sri Lanka United Nations Seabed Committee and the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea and was Chairman of the Sri Lankan delegation 1980-81, 1971-75 Chairman of the Conference’s plenary negotiating group on the international seabed regime beyond national jurisdiction, 1973-81 Member of the United Nations International Law Commission and President of the Commission in 1980.
Secretary General of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, 1982 – 2011.
An arbitrator, appointed by the Sri Lankan government to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, to the list of arbitrators and to the list of conciliators maintained by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (World Bank), as well as to the list of arbitrators maintained pursuant to Annex VII and the list of conciliators maintained pursuant to Annex V of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.Member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the CIETAC (China Commission for International Economic and Trade Arbitration).
Served as an international arbitrator under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and presiding in an arbitration between two Asian countries under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Member of the Institute of Law (since 1989) Member of the International Law Association (since 1994) Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Ocean Institute (Halifax, Canada/Malta), Visiting Professor at the World Maritime University, Malmö , Sweden, for several years led the General Course on the Law of the Sea.
Co-founder of the Foundation for the Development of International Law in Asia. Co-founding editor of the Asian Yearbook of International Law. Member of the advisory boards of the Asian Yearbook of International Law, the Asian Journal of International Law, of the Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law, and the Sri Lanka Journal of International Law.M. Pinto’s passing is a great loss for Sri Lanka as a nation and also for the international legal field in which Mr. Pinto distinguished himself both as a member and Chairman of the United Nations International Law Commission. .
May Mr. Pinto’s soul rest in peace!