The University of Jaffna is a public university in Sri Lanka. Established in 1974 as the sixth campus of the University of Sri Lanka, it became an independent, autonomous university in 1979.  The University of Jaffna has two campuses — the main campus in Thirunelvely in Jaffna and a second campus in Vavuniya. It also has facilities in Ariviyal Nagar near Kilinochchi, Kaithady and Maruthanarmadam near Chunnakam. It has ten faculties (Agriculture, Applied Science, Arts, Business Studies, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Management Studies & Commerce, Medicine, Science and Technology) and thirteen other academic units/centres. The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses that award various degrees.

The University when it was established in 1974 had approval for the establishment of three faculties (Humanities, Law and Science) and one department (Physical Education). However the introduction of law as an academic discipline at the university took three decades to materialize and finally in 2005 the LL.B degree programme commenced with a Department of Law set up under the aegis of the Faculty of Arts. The Faculty of Arts is the largest faculty in the University with 17 departments and 31 disciplines belonging to the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences and provides institutional housing to the Faculty of Arts.

Since 2005 the Department of Law has offered a four-year programme of study, leading to the award of a Bachelor of Laws Degree. The advisory committee appointed by the then-Vice Chancellor, Prof.S.Mohanadas, consisting of Mr.N.Selvak kumaran (Dean/Faculty of Law, University of Colombo), Mr. K.P.S. Varatha rajah (High Court Judge), Dr Deepika Udagama (Head/ Department of Law, University of Colombo), Mr.V.T.Thamilmaran (Senior Lecturer Faculty of Law, University of Colombo), Dr. H.J.F.Silva (Principal, Law College of Sri Lanka), Ms.Shantha Abimanasingam P.C (President, Bar Association of Jaffna), Mr. A.Gnanathasan (Deputy Solicitor General) and Prof. N.Gnanakumaran provided guidance and directions towards the establishment of the Department and the development of its curriculum. provided guidance and directions towards the establishment of the Department and the development of its curriculum

Inauguration of Department of Law – 2005

The curriculum of the Degree programme was designed to include auxiliary course units such as Basic Science, Management and Entrepreneurial skills, Social Harmony and Communication Skills, Computer Literacy and English in order to produced holistic legal professionals. The first batch was made up of 22 students who came from various parts of the North and East of this Island. In 2005 Prof. N. Gnanakumaran served as the first head of the Department of Law. Mr. M. Sutharsan (2005 -2007) and Ms. S. Vigneswary (2005-2007) served as lecturers. On the 6th of July 2006 the Law Students’ Association (now known as the Law Students’ Society), was established. In the absence of permanent staff, lectures were conducted by judges as well as Attorneys – at – Law who practiced in Jaffna. Due to the armed conflict, academic activities were interrupted until 2006. The students were shifted to Colombo and followed their Degree programme at Colombo Tamil Sangam from 2007. The second and third batches which were registered in 2006 and 2007 respectively were combined and followed their degree programme together at Colombo. The students were supported, guided and taught by the staff attached to the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo. Mr. B. N. Thamboo (Attorney – at – Law) has served as Academic Coordinator for the Colombo Branch of the Department of Law since 2008. 

Subsequently the first, second and third year academic programme in Law was brought back to Jaffna with the fourth year academic programme continuing to be held in Colombo. The University has now decided to discontinue this arrangement and conduct the fourth year of study at the main campus itself from the second semester of the academic year of 2016/2017. In 2009 the first batch of the Department of Law launched a magazine called “Neetham”. Subsequent batches have undertaken the responsibility to publish this magazine annually. In the year 2009, two temporary lecturers and one tutor, Mrs Kosalai Mathan, Mr. Vignarajah Sanjendra and Mrs. Karthiga Senthuran respectively were appointed and the academic programme for the batch of 2008/2009 commenced with their assistance. 

Mr. Kumaravadivel Guruparan and Ms. Sharmini Vigneswaran joined as Temporary Lecturers in 2010 while Ms. Kathiga left. Ms. Sharmini’s service came to an end with the expiry of her contract by the end of the academic year in 2010 and Mr. Sanjendra resigned from his post. Ms. Kosalai was appointed to a permanent position in 2010. Mr.K.Guruparan, after completing his Masters (BCL) at the University of Oxford took up a permanent position in September 2011. 

Mrs. Thushani Sayanthan was appointed as a permanent lecturer in 2012 whilst pursuing her postgraduate studies at the South Asia University (New Delhi) which she completed in 2013. 

Ms. Dianarthy Ariyanayakam was appointed as a temporary lecturer in the year of 2012 and received a permanent appointment in 2013. She served the Department for a period of 3 years until her resignation in October 2015. 

Ms. Vishaka Wijeyanayake was appointed to a permanent position in 2013; she thereafter resigned in 2014 to undertake a Masters programme in the USA on a Fulbright scholarship. 

Ms. Purathani Eloornayagam, Mr. Sivanesan Pradinath and Mr. Sanjayan Rajasingham were appointed to permanent positions in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

 Mr. Kogulan (Tutor) and Ms. Teshepa Rajah (Temporary Lecturer), Ms. Deshani Thabrew and Mr. Janakan Muthukumar served the department in temporary capacities. 

Currently the Department of Law has six academic cadres which are occupied by the following individuals in the order of their appointment: Mrs. Kosalai Mathan, Mrs. Thushani Shayanthan, Mrs. Purathani Mathanaranjan, Mr. Sivanesan Pradinath, Miss. Nirogini Thambaiah, Miss. Supasini Pakiyanathan, Mr. Srinagaruban Pathujan and Ms. Sujatha Samarathiwakara. Ten batches of law students have graduated from the University since its inception 2005. 

The number of students admitted to the Department of Law has rapidly increased and at present there are about 100 students enrolled every year from all parts of the country. Moreover, the Department of Law constantly receives immense support from the staff attached to the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo in relation to lectures, examinations, etc