The 14th Asian Criminology Conference, a collaborative effort between the Asian Criminological Society and the Faculty of Criminal Justice of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), was conducted at the KDU premises from October 27th to 29th, 2023. The timely topic “Crime and Criminal Justice: Sustainable Development, Peace, and Security in Asia,’’ was identified as the main theme of the conference. It unfolded under fifteen sub themes to call the academics, researchers and professionals in the criminal justice system to present their recent research findings for an intellectually enriched deliberation.
The conference commenced on 27th of October 2023, and the opening session was graced by two world renowned personnel in criminology and criminal justice, Distinguished Emeritus Prof. John Braitweight from the National University of Australia and His Excellency Mohan Peiris, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, as keynote speakers. The event also had the honor of hosting the Chancellor of KDU, General SHS Kottegoda (Retd), WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc and Vice Chancellor, Rear Admiral HGU Dammika Kumara, VSV USP psc MMaritimePol BSc (DS) along with other distinguished guests and invitees in the field of Criminal Justice.
The plenary session of the event was an academic platform for criminal justice experts in Sri Lanka to share their thoughts and experiences relating to the field in Sri Lanka as well as beyond the Asian region. The plenary session was chaired by Hon Dr. Wijedasa Rajapaksha PC, Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms, Sri Lanka and featured His Lordship Justice Dhilip Nawas, Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka; Mr. Priyantha Nawana PC, Senior Additional Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka; Hon HTB Dehideniya, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Sri Lanka; and Thushara Upuldeniya, Commissioner General of the Prison Department, Sri Lanka, as the main panelists.
The second day of the conference, October 28th, commenced with a special session in which His Lordship Yasantha Kodagodan PC, Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and Mr. Suhada Gamlath PC, Chairman of the National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses, Sri Lanka addressed the audience.
The technical sessions of the conference consisted of oral presentations and round table discussions. The first round of technical sessions took place on October 27th with four parallel sessions. The second and third rounds were held on the 28th of October and were chaired by distinguished academics and renowned professionals in the field of criminal justice. These technical sessions featured four round table discussions led by eminent Asian criminologists and professionals. A total of 132 presenters from 15 countries, including Sri Lanka, presented their research findings at the conference, with 121 abstracts covering 15 sub themes.
The conference concluded on October 29th, 2023, and the closing ceremony was graced by Hon. Jayantha Jayasooriya, Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, as the Chief Guest. General G. D. H. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) WWV RWP RSP USP ndc psc MPhil, Secretary Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka along with the Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University graced the occasion along with the following distinguished guests:
Hon Justices from Apex Courts of Sri Lanka
Hon High Court judges of Sri Lanka
Distinguished Professor Jiahung Liu, Founding President of ACS
Officials of Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka
Officials of criminal justice Institutions of Sri Lanka
Military officials of tri – forces of Sri Lanka
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Defence & Admin)
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)
Deans of Faculties of KDU
Directors of Centers at KDU
Faculty members of FoCJ and other faculties of KDU
Undergraduates of KDU
During the closing ceremony, three awards were presented by the Asian Criminological Society to the best researcher, best book author, and best presenter. Professor R. Thilagaraj, President of ACS delivered the wrap-up announcement. The Philippine representative announced the upcoming ACS Conference in 2024 at Manila, Philippine. Deshabandu Professor MADSJS Niriella, Conference Chair, ACS Vice President, Dean of the Faculty of Criminal Justice, KDU delivered the vote of thanks.
To conclude the event, a field visit was organized on October 29th 2023. The participants had the opportunity to visit the Police Criminal Record Division and Genetech as part of the conference activities, successfully marking the conclusion of the 14th Asian Criminology Conference.