Justice Anthony Francis Tissa Fernando, who holds both Sri Lankan and Seychellois citizenship, was sworn in on 01 June 2020, as the President of the Court of Appeal of Seychelles by the President of the Republic of Seychelles.
The President of the Court of Appeal is the head of the Judiciary in the Seychelles. The Court of Appeal is the apex and final appellate court, hearing appeals from the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is a division of the Supreme Court.
Justice Fernando is also a Visiting Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of Fiji since 2015. Justice Fernando was appointed a Justice of the Court Appeal in 2009. Prior to this, Justice Fernando was the Attorney General of the Seychelles for 10 years (from January 1999 to 2009). He joined the Attorney General’s department of Seychelles in 1991 and was promoted as the Principal State Counsel in the year 1992. Before Seychelles, he served as a State Counsel/Senior State Counsel in the Attorney General’s department in Sri Lanka for 11 years, having been admitted to the Bar in Sri Lanka in 1979.
Justice Fernando has had several of his judgments in criminal, constitutional, election, and civil law published in the Law Reports of the Commonwealth (LRC) – Volumes 2012 onward. He is also a UNODC expert on Maritime Piracy, having written widely on this subject and made several presentations in international forums and academic institutions.
He is a Peer Reviewer for the Commonwealth Law Bulletin, a member of the Consultancy Pool for Rule of Law Projects in the Commonwealth Secretariat, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Africa Regional Judges’ Forum on HIV/TB, Human Rights & the Law. He has also served as an executive committee member of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities.
His publications include books and articles published in the Commonwealth Law Bulletin on constitutional law, election law, criminal law, maritime piracy and international arbitration. He has been a guest speaker and presented papers at several international conferences around the world, on a number of issues including on international cooperation in criminal justice matters, anti-corruption, and ICSID arbitration.
In addition, Justice Fernando has been a lecturer in law on various subjects at the Open University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Law College, and the University of Seychelles. He was the chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Judicial College of Seychelles and an Examiner for the admission of Attorneys at Law in Seychelles.
Justice Fernando obtained his Bachelor in Laws degree from the University of Colombo in September 1978 and was an O’Brien Fellow in Residence at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University, Montreal in 2013. While a student at the Sri Lanka Law College he won the Hector Jayawardene Gold Medal for the Address to the Jury in his first year. He was the President of the Law Students Union in 1977.