Theodor MeronNYU Law faculty and international law experts gathered in the Faculty Library on December 6 to celebrate the release of The Making of International Criminal Justice: A View from the Bench—Selected Speeches by Theodor Meron, Charles L. Denison Professor of Law Emeritus and Judicial Fellow. For the book, Meron, who is president and an appeals judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as well as an appeals judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, collected significant lectures from his past decade with the two judicial bodies.

Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Foundations and a former adjunct professor at NYU Law, played an important role in the creation of the ICTY and was an early advocate for such a court. Speaking at the event, Neier offered praise for the book, whose more than two dozen speeches illuminate international criminal law’s foundation, international criminal courts’ challenges in creating substantive and procedural law, and international judges’ responsibilities, as well as Meron’s personal perspective on the still-nascent field and his work in it.

Neier quoted an excerpt from the collection: “My interest in international law evolved from a relatively narrow focus on notions of state responsibility to encompass humanitarian law and human rights law, and my fervent desire to integrate these disciplines.” Meron’s use of “fervent,” Neier asserted, telegraphed how passionately Meron felt about the topic, an unusual thing, Neier said, for a serious legal academic work.  Meron then took a turn at the lectern himself, reflecting on his experiences as a judge of the international tribunals.

Posted on December 9, 2011