Amsterdam receives award from International Academy of Law and Mental Health

June 30, 2009

Anthony Amsterdam, University Professor, received the Yves Pélicier Award, given for vital contributions to the field of law and mental health, from the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) on June 28. Amsterdam, who came to NYU in 1981, designed NYU Law’s pioneering Lawyering Program and served as its director of Clinical and Advocacy Programs. In 1972 he successfully argued the Supreme Court case Furman v. Georgia, which resulted in a four-year moratorium on the death penalty.

“Professor Anthony Amsterdam has achieved international acclaim for his persistent efforts in utilizing constitutional law to protect the rights of incarcerated persons,” said David N. Weisstub, honorary life president of IALMH. “As a professor of law, he has been responsible for landmark initiatives in developing methods for the humanistic training of lawyers. The IALMH committee is of the view that Professor Amsterdam is the primary world figure in the pursuit of justice in cases involving capital punishment. In giving him the Pélicier Award, the IALMH committee wishes to underline Professor Amsterdam’s contributions relating to the complex issues that have arisen in Guantánamo Bay’s prison. The IALMH as a community is very pleased to celebrate Professor Anthony Amsterdam’s lifelong accomplishments.”

The award, conferred only irregularly to exceptional candidates, has previously been given to Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, a former Canadian Supreme Court justice, and Michael Kirby, a former justice of the High Court of Australia. It was established in honor of Professor Yves Pélicier, a leader in the field of psychiatry in France who cofounded the bioethics center at the University of Paris.

The IALMH’s 31st International Congress on Law and Mental Health takes place June 28-July 3 at the NYU School of Law. Amsterdam participated in a June 29 panel on capital punishment.

Read the profile of Anthony Amsterdam from the 2007 Law School magazine

Posted on June 30, 2009