On 3 August 2004, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed Judge Joseph Asoka Nihal de Silva (Sri Lanka) as a permanent Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. He replaces Judge Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana who has resigned on health grounds. The appointment has effect for the remainder of Judge Gunawardana’s term which expires in 2007.
Born in 1946, Judge Asoka de Silva has been a Senior Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka since 2001. He was enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court in 1972, joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1974, and became Senior Deputy Solicitor-General in 1995. From 1995 to 2001, he was a Judge in the Court of Appeals, and became President of that Court.
Judge Asoka de Silva obtained his LLB degree from the University of Ceylon and later his LLM degree from the University of Colombo. He has attended several conferences and courses abroad, and has lectured at the Sri Lanka Law College and at the University of Colombo.