Friday, May 29, 2009

Thomas M. Franck

Franck, Thomas Professor Thomas M. Franck, honorary President of the American Society of International Law and a well-respected scholar of international law, passed away this week after a resurgence of cancer.  Professor Franck was the President of the American Society of International Law as President from 1998 to 2000 and Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law from 1984 to 1993.  He authored more than 30 books and countless articles, he received the ASIL lifetime achievement award, the Hudson Medal, in 2003, and he was awarded the ASIL Certificate of Merit for four of his books.  He was a professor at New York University School of Law where he taught foreign relations law, international law, and the law of international organizations.  He was a good friend and mentor to so many international lawyers and law students.  He will be missed.

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I had the great pleasure and honour of getting to know Tom Franck last year when we were both visiting professors at Washington College of Law, American University in Washington, D.C. What an amazing and kind man! I had been inspired by his work for years, having shamelessly borrowed his brilliant ideas in my writings about the legitimacy of the World Trade Organization. He wrote the books on legitimacy among nations, fairness in international law, you name it. A true Renaissance man, he loved opera, gourmet food and wine - as well as lively debate and discussion. So gentle with his students - I remember him being approached by a 1st year student at his door just when he was rushing out to catch the university shuttle to the metro. Rather than brushing the student off, he said, "Walk and talk with me." Brilliant scholar, engaging bon vivant, raconteur extraordinaire, master teacher and wonderful friend. We will miss him dearly.

Posted by: Debra Steger | Jun 1, 2009 2:19:02 PM

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