Passing of M. Cherif Bassiouni, “the Godfather of International Criminal Law”

Passing of M. Cherif Bassiouni, “the Godfather of International Criminal Law”
CICC News, 26 Sep 2017

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court would like to share in expressing our profound sadness at the passing of Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni. “Cherif was truly one of the world’s greatest experts of international law and justice.  He was a true champion of the International Criminal Court and long-time supporter of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court,” said William R. Pace, Coalition Convenor. Cherif Bassiouni was a founding member of both the prestigious Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (ISISC) and DePaul’s International Human Rights Law Institute.
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In response to the news, many Coalition members expressed their sorrow and remembrances:
Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch noted his “Many memories of Cherif–his dynamic…as the Chair of the Former Yugoslavia Commission of Experts [predecessor to the ICTY], the essential work he did through the Siracusa Institute on the Draft Statute of the ICC, his role in Rome as Chair of the Drafting Committee….his scholarly contributions…quite an amazing role and a remarkable person.”
“We are joining others in remembering and honoring Cherif Bassiouni — an extraordinary man who has made an incredible and unique contribution to this field, especially during the negotiations and the early work of the Tribunals,” said Brigid Inder, Executive Director of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. “He was a wonderful orator — intelligent, urbane, and inspiring. We were so lucky to have had him.”
Niccolò Figà-Talamanca of No Peace Without Justice described him as “unfailingly considerate, elegant and generous of spirit…He's been a great promoter of international justice, with real depth on the issues, but also the flair to move things forward. Richard mentioned his crucial role in building political momentum for the ICTY. Then, in Rome he played his role masterfully, as Chair of a drafting committee that he purposefully designed to be in part a place to keep certain parts of the text moving at the right pace, so that the deals could be struck - even if somewhere else. A great mover and strong advocate on our side during the ratification campaign, you could really count on him to explain things clearly policymakers, and to make an impression.”

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