Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Henry King

Professor Henry T. King, Jr. died on Saturday, May 9, 2009 (just a few weeks before his 90th birthday). His passing is a great loss for legal academia, the legal profession, and for all who knew him. He was a Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Chair of its Canada-United States Law Institute for more than 30 years.  

Here is some more information about Professor King from his school.

At the age of 25, fresh out of Yale Law School (B.A. 1941, LL.B. 1943), Henry was hired as the youngest Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.  At Nuremberg, Henry worked on the Justice and Ministries cases, led the prosecution of former Luftwaffe Field Marshall Erhard Milch, deputy head of the Luftwaffe under Hermann Goering, in the High Command trial. Henry interrogated many of the major Nuremberg defendants, including Albert Speer, who Henry later chronicled in a critically acclaimed book, The Two Worlds of Albert Speer: Reflections of a Nuremberg Prosecutor.

Upon returning to the United States, Henry served as director of the Agency for International Development during the Eisenhower Administration, and worked as a chief corporate international counsel for more than twenty years with TRW Inc., and later was of counsel at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP.  He then joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve, where he taught International Business and International Arbitration.

Through the conferences he organized in the late 1980s as Chairman of the Canada-United States Law Institute, Henry played an integral role in facilitating the drafting and negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In 1998, Henry and two other 80-something-year-old former Nuremberg prosecutors, Whitney Harris and Ben Ferencz, participated in the Rome diplomatic conference to create a permanent international criminal court and used their unique moral authority, dogged persistence, and skills of persuasion to convince the delegates to include the crime of aggression in the Court’s statute (pending agreement on a definition and trigger mechanism).  

Last fall, in cooperation with the President of the ICC Assembly of States Parties, Henry co-chaired a conference and experts meeting on “The ICC and the Crime of Aggression” at Case Western Reserve, which developed proposals that significantly advanced the effort to define the crime and the conditions under which the Court could exercise its jurisdiction over it.      

Henry was an influential leader of the American Bar Association, serving as a member of the ABA’s special task force on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and as a former Chair of the ABA Section of International Law. In addition he was the U.S. chairman of a joint working group, organized by the American, Canadian, and Mexican bar associations, on the settlement of international disputes.  Henry also founded the 200-member Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group

We will all remember Professor Henry King quite fondly and cherish the legacy of his contributions.


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