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Friday, February 3, 2012

Remembering Nino

The latest issue of Accountability is now available.  Accountability is the newsletter of the American Society of International Law Interest Group on International Criminal Law.  This issue is dedicated to Antonio Cassese, who died in October, and the newsletter includes a brief dedication that highlights just a few of Cassese's important contributions to the field.  

Here is an excerpt from the final two paragraphs of the dedication:

Perhaps his longest academic legacy, apart from the entire generation of young scholars who trained under him, will come from his creation of the Journal of International Criminal Justice, the peer-reviewed journal published by Oxford University Press.  Under Cassese’s leadership, the journal prided itself on sparking vigorous and heated academic debate, thus removing any misguided assumption that developments in international criminal justice ought to be celebrated but never criticized.  Cassese understood well that the discipline had to move forward rather than stand still.  When he won the Erasmus Prize in 2009, he used the proceeds to endow a fund to help younger scholars publish their dissertations.

Cassese was known by many names: students called him Professor; litigants called him Judge; friends called him Nino; Louise Arbour, in her forward to his collected papers, called him l’inaccessible √©toile – the unreachable star.  In its obituary, the New York Times referred to him as the “chief architect of modern international criminal justice.”  But to many others, he was simply the Maestro, perhaps because he had faith that the law could help us find some beauty and solace in this dark, dark world.