Pavithra is an academic, a multi-faceted feminist, and a first-generation lawyer. She earned her LL.B (Hons.) from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and became an Attorney-at-Law by earning an honor at Sri Lankan Law College. She is also a dual master’s degree holder. Her first LL.M. is from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and it focused on Criminal Justice, Constitutional Law, and Gender Justice. Her dissertation, "Cumulative Provocation as a mitigatory defense in Sri Lanka" endeavored to propose a rights-based approach to the criminal law of Sri Lanka. By obtaining J Williams Fulbright Award, Pavithra completed her second LL.M in International Human Rights Law (Cum laude) at the University of Notre Dame, USA. During this time, her thesis on gender stereotypical cultural practices of Sri Lanka won the Percy Buchanan Graduate Prize at the 72nd Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, 2023. Her research papers on feminist legal scholarships, criminal law, human rights, and environmental law are widely published and advocate for a rights-based approach and emphasize justice. Notably, one of her chapters on witness protection was recognized as one of the best papers in 2019, in the book “Global Thoughts and Opinions on the Criminal Law vis-a-vis criminal justice system” published by The Law Learners, India. Prior to commencing the JSD, Pavithra was employed as a Lecturer at the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Colombo. Her teaching and research interests encompass Public and International Laws, with a profound aspiration to specialize in feminist criminology.

Other Accomplishments & Recognitions


  • 2023 Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs’ Percy Buchanan Graduate Prize