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Judge James CrawfordJudge James Richard Crawford AC SC FBA, Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge (1992-2015), Fellow of Jesus College, and Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (1997-2003, 2006-2010) passed away on 31 May 2021.

A legend of international law, James was also a towering figure on the Cambridge landscape. He was doctoral supervisor to more than 70 students, a mentor and friend to hundreds of students, fellows and visiting fellows, and an inspiration to countless others. At the Centre, we knew him also as an avid reader of history, connoisseur of music, art, food and wine, an excellent host, a great cricket fan, a writer of poetry on international law, and a man of great wit, a sharp sense of humour and a love for the well-turned phrase.

James will be deeply, deeply missed.

A detailed biography of James, plus details of his publications, interviews and photographs are available in the Squire Eminent Scholars Archive.

We are sharing public condolences and tributes on this page. Please feel free to add your memories of James, anecdotes of encounters at Cambridge and elsewhere, and stories that speak to his extraordinary life and career in international law. You can do so via the form below.




Condolences and tributes

"The world of international law has lost its doyen. James was the pre-eminent international lawyer of our times, and at the same time, a mentor and friend to many of us in Cambridge and around the world. The Lauterpacht Centre thrived under his stewardship and continued to benefit from his good advice even after he left for The Hague." (Professor Eyal Benvenisti)

"James was an extraordinary international lawyer. He was also a deeply kind and generous person. When I was trying to start out in academia, and applying without success for academic positions, he would encourage me to keep going. 'Keep applying. You only need one "yes".' For someone starting out, his words of encouragement meant the world. My sincere condolences to his loved ones." (Sandesh Sivakumaran)

"It is difficult to sum up the sense of loss I feel this week. My thoughts are with James’s family, for whom the loss is all the greater.

James was an ever-present figure in my consciousness, as he was in that of all his students and colleagues. Every time I sit down to draft sentences, including these ones, it is James’s voice that I hear in my head – ‘too many adjectives there’, ‘no, no, em dashes don’t look like that’, ‘what is the point of the “perhaps”, or, indeed, of that “somewhat”’, ‘now that phrase -- that is beautifully turned’, ‘did I tell you about your dashes?’ James was very fond of poetry as he was of literature, but above all he taught me to read legal prose with appreciation, to note the craft behind the apparent simplicity of a sentence, and the allusion in the seemingly dry phrase.

There is much more to say, and those words will come, though at the moment, despite all of James’s teaching, I cannot quite manage them. I have been finding comfort in reading old correspondence, and his writings, hearing his voice speak again. Here, therefore, is one memento of James’s wit, erudition, and style: a sketch he wrote in 2012 to describe to us how he and Martti Koskenniemi came to agree upon a cover for the Cambridge Companion to International Law: JRC, A Cover Story : A dialogue between two editors, 26 January 2012

With love to all grieving this week." (Surabhi Ranganathan)

"Anyone working on International Law knows (or must know) the impressive scholarship of James Crawford. But only those who in some moment had the chance, the privilege and the pleasure to meet and chat with James shall realise the enormous loss of his absence. His masterful, vivid eyes and smiling welcome will always be with us. Sit tibi terra levis, dear James!" (Mariano J. Aznar)

Judge James Crawford at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law"James was my doctoral supervisor and mentor but he was much more than that - he was a father figure, a friend, a role model and a beacon of wisdom. He had a way of changing the lives of those he worked with - with his kind demeanour, generosity of time and genuine care and support. His generations of PhD students and research associates were all part of the Crawford team. I was always in awe of the brilliant legal mind but even more so of the great personality. James never imposed his opinion but instead listened and wanted to know what you thought. He always made time for his PhD students and would leave a meeting with State representatives in the middle of an ICJ case to discuss your next next chapter. He read thoroughly each draft and gave detailed and constructive comments. He inspired you to 'press on' and climb on the top of the PhD mountain while jokingly sharing the Crawford laws of good legal drafting. James was always happy to write references in support of your job applications and in response to your apology for asking for yet another reference enthusiastically said 'Once a referee, always a referee!'. He supported and followed with interest each stage of your career. James's passing away has left a huge hole in the discipline but most of all in the hearts of his disciples." (Rumiana Yotova)

"Thank you Prof. Crawford, for instilling in me a passion for International Law. May we all continue to build upon the legacy you've left behind as we work towards a more just and equal world." (Ahsan Qazi)


"I experienced James' warmth, candid kindness and devotion to 'the next generation of international lawyers' in The Hague. I was just a young Exchange Student at Leiden University, and fellow Australian, who emailed him an international law question. He said that he would like to chat about it in person in his office. And that began a season of mentorship. His care for students gained purchase not just at Cambridge but also at the ICJ. Despite the number of cases on the docket, he still made time to be a spring board for ideas for a fresh 21 year-old. He spread so many sparkles of hope for international law students, that will be felt for generations, especially when everything else seems dim (Jessup students... ehem). As one of thousands, I am saddened but humbled to say: thank you, James." (Mikayla Amber Brier-Mills)

"James was always so kind and encouraging to me. In particular, he was very welcoming and genuinely interested in my work on my visits to the Lauterpacht, particularly in my participation in a conference on business and human rights at the Lauterpacht in 1989. Though I do remember him finding Eurovision Song Contest party in 2006 quite bemusing.

He was never my supervisor, but I know many of his supervisees, many of whom have gone on to flourishing international law careers in academe and practice. His devotion to them was extraordinary. And of course, there were his own deeds in international law. Of which much will be said for years to come. Vale James. Thanks for your inspiration." (Sarah Joseph)

"Professor Crawford will be dearly missed by his family, friends and colleagues. He was an intellectual giant with boundless capacity for work as a scholar, advocate and judge. Always personable and approachable, James was also supportive of countless students and early career scholars. I remember with great fondness my time as a Visitor at the Lauterpacht Centre in 2002 and James' encouragement to participate in the life of the centre. Later James generously offered me support as I pursued a career at the University of Sydney Law School where James had served as Dean some previously. It was wonderful to see James at the opening of our New Law Building in 2009 on the main campus, as James had always wanted the Sydney Law School to have a home amidst the vibrant community of researchers across many disciplines. Vale James." (Professor Tim Stephens, University of Sydney Law School)

"It is very sad to hear that James passed away. The world of social science has lost a towering figure of international law. As a doctoral supervisor he inspired me to learn international law tirelessly and with verve. I owe him a lot for his teaching, sensible guidance and kind support for years after I left Cambridge. All my thoughts are with my James' family members." (Yutaka Arai)

Judge James Crawford "Exactly three years ago I had the privilege of talking for four hours with Judge James Richard Crawford in his Peace Palace Chambers on his life, career, and views of International Law. His courtesy, erudition, and frankness were a highlight of years compiling the Eminent Scholars Archive. The interchange reinforced my views of an exceptional person I had known for over twenty years. James Crawford was extraordinary: a towering intellect, a tireless worker, and with huge empathy for those he felt had need of his succour. His chosen subject was international law, but during his early career he also made a great contribution to understanding the rights and plight of the indigenous peoples of Australia. He had been moved as a student to confront injustices, and this was the basis for his life-long approach to the law. James formed his vision of International Law through an understanding of its roots back to the classical Greek world, and considered its future through a lens of realistic optimism. He was a giant upon whose shoulders future generations of international lawyers will stand to consider their subject’s evolution. His wisdom will be sorely missed." (Lesley Dingle)

"We all reach the final rendezvous point. But it is a life well lived that leaves a legacy behind. James did more than that. He was a remarkable international lawyer, of that rare ilk that fuses the academic and practising mind, so beautifully. But he touched so many lives as a mentor and adviser. He taught me international law as an undergraduate, and then as a professional colleague always made time for lunch and conversation at Jesus. My condolences to those that grieve him." (Mahnaz Malik)

"May deep condolences! I can say that such legal luminaries are remembered on each and every occasion whenever we talk about justice and legal profession, his contribution towards research and development of law in nurturing leadership is worth appreciating. Sir miss you! My Prayers" (Yogesh Sharma)

"Humanity has lost a humble giant! A guru of International law! He was my Professor of Foundations of International Law when pursuing my LL.M degree at Cambridge in 2009. I will always remember Professor James Crawford for his contribution in my life. Personally, I have lost one of my role models! I will miss you dearly!!!? May your soul rest in eternal peace!" (Dr Benedict Nchalla)

"Prof. Crawford was a legend in the field of International Law. His presence at Cambridge was indeed one of the major reasons why i chose to come to Cambridge over ten years ago. Rest in peace James. You came, you saw and you conquered." (Dr Oluwole Kunuji LLM Cantab, Ph.D (Warwick), Lecturer in International Law, University of Lagos)

"The passing of Prof Crawford is heartbreaking. He was a great scholar, teacher and a compassionate human-being. It is a big loss to public international law. My deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues." (Zeray Yihdego)

"I knew James Crawford as a world renown international law scholar since my first year at the law school but met him years later, during one of the most difficult crises for my country - the August 2008 war. In the battle of David and the Goliath, he did not hesitate to stand for the weak. Being an intellectual giant, respected and admired by others, James also was a humble man with exceptional sense of humour. Working on a case strategy with him or drafting a brief under his supervision and guidance are undoubtedly the greatest learning experiences of my life. James left the legacy behind and will be remembered by so many international lawyers around the world. Rest in peace, dear James!" (Tina Burjaliani)

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of James Crawford. He had a dry sense of humor that was truly delightful. He was also a wonderful mentor to me, and encouraged my publishing ambitions in thoughtful and supportive ways. He was a towering figure in international law who nevertheless remained humble and approachable. You leave behind countless friends, students, colleagues who all, like me, mourn your loss, James." (Rumu Sarkar)

"I'm so saddened to hear those news. I keep such fond memories of my time working as James' PA at the Lauterpacht. I had always meant to write to James to tell him the impact he'd had on my life, the confidence he helped me gain in my formative years. I remember his patience, kindness and warmth. Such an eminent lawyer yet so down to Earth. I'll always remember the time he was due to fly back from Chile. Unfortunately it coincided with the 2008 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. James had to be back for some important meetings and with his flight to the UK cancelled, his only option was to fly back to Spain. From there, he hired a car and drove it all the way to Calais where his chauffeur would be waiting for him to bring him back to Cambridge! What a road trip it was! My thoughts go out to his whole family." (Jean-Baptiste Fourcade)

"What deeply impressed me in Prof. Crawford's personality when I was an LLM student at Cambridge was his true interest in other people's opinions. He honestly wanted to know what others thought. Even if they were "only" students. And even if he was who (and what) he was. Never before and never after have I experienced that openness of spirit in anyone else to the same extent. Yes, Prof. Crawford is a legend of international law. But he was also an outstanding human. May his spirit serve us as a lantern. May all of us together attempt at carrying his light further." (Christian Sager)

Judge James Crawford with students at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law"Over twenty years ago I was told that I was accepted for PhD at Cambridge and James Crawford would be my supervisor. Bit later I found out that I could only secure half of my funding and I didn’t know what to do about another half. I had not met James then but thought consulting a potential supervisor would be a good idea. He told me over the phone whom to write about it, which I did. After four days I got a fax telling me that a dream was coming true, in defiance to all deadlines and procedures. Having him James a supervisor was a privilege. He had a reputation of a busy man but anytime I would ask for a meeting, I would get appointment at most within 48 hours (subject to him physically being in Cambridge). Anytime we disagreed on any legal issue, he would still help me to put my own views as effectively as possible. What has put him head and shoulders above many international lawyers was not just his record as lawyer or arbitrator, but also his ability to deal and work with people he disagreed with. Entirely free of prejudice or egotism, he would always look at evidence and let his views evolve accordingly. And then there was twenty years of care and support, well beyond him being a supervisor or a referee, and it has repeatedly made a difference. I remember that once, around 2003, when he was stepping down from directorship of LCIL, during one meeting he was reassuring some staff members that he was not going anywhere. Now it is me saying: James, you are not going anywhere." (Alexander Orakhelashvili)

"A Fellow of my Cambridge college, Jesus, I was privileged and humbled to have shared several dinners with him at High Table. The conversations were memorable and inspiring! I pray that he is now in special heaven with Robbie Jennings, Derek Bowett, Eli Lauterpacht, Clive Parry and all the other legal luminaries I was privileged to know when I was at Cambridge. R.I.P." (Dr. William T. Onorato, Ph.d (Cantab); Honorary Fellow, CEPMLP, Dundee)

"I met James at the Lauterpacht Centre in 2001 (I left at the end of 2002) and saw him in action at the ILC at the time that the State Responsibility rules were being discussed in Geneva (I was among the 24 lawyers that were being trained by the ILC in all areas of General International Law, as part of the International Law Seminar). Attending those sessions of the ILC was foundational for me: James, Brownlie, Bruno Simma, John Dugard, Alain Pellet were all engaged in these discussions. I also attended his lectures while in Cambridge and learned the basics of investment arbitration with him. Hearing him discussing the Nauru case, the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros case will ever remain within me. We had an opportunity to collaboration in a case in which he graciously acted as amicus upon my invitation. I was counsel in the case. It was a difficult case which we corrected. It set a precedent on the rules of State Responsibility in the Inter-American System and became the first international case on the rights of the child in times of armed conflict. James' demise feels as if a skyscraper were missing from the skyline of international lawyers that are obligatory reference, for younger generations of international lawyers, when looking at the horizon. So, we feel all a bit 'orphans'. And yet, just this week I have been working with his 'The Creation of States in International Law', as adviser, as a practising barrister - and relied on his work; rigorous and a true legacy for posterity. In an interview he said "I was born to do what I am doing". He was so right. When at the LCIL, often young scholars were scared of James because he was brilliant and he appeared serious. I got to know him in a different light though. He was a man of great solidarity and able to react to injustices in ways I did not expect. I benefited from this at a critical point in time. He was also a warm, and a generous colleague. When I left the LCIL the Centre organised a barbecue and James, generously, provided the wine. Whenever one wrote to him, he always replied, and always had a kind word and small gestures. It was a true honour to have met him. I am grateful for all what he taught me and for his ever support." (Monica Feria-Tinta, barrister, Twenty Essex)

Judge James Crawford "James was an extraordinary lawyer and an extraordinary man. I remember serving on an ILA Committee on State Immunity with him a very long time ago, before he came to Cambridge, and his charisma and scholarship were apparent to all. I was lucky to work with him, but sadly just the once, and appeared against him on several occasions. His advocacy, like his writing and his lectures, was clear, thoughtful and original. He hosted me when I gave the Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures some ten years' ago and he was tremendous fun and razor sharp. A star in the international law firmament, his works on the creation of statehood and on state responsibility were classics even as published. His contributions to the ICJ were in truth only just beginning. What a terrible loss!" (Malcolm Shaw)

"James was a giant amongst us - visionary, creative, compelling, kind; a man of moment. He walked softly but his presence was always felt. He was a colleague and a friend at the LCIL, a guiding light whose door was open to everyone. As counsel, when he was against you, you knew you were faced by a formidable adversary, but one of unfailing courtesy and grace. When he was with you, you knew you held a trump card. As counsel appearing before him, you had an unwavering sense of rigour, integrity, balance and insight - whatever the outcome, you would receive a fair hearing and a carefully considered decision. As a scholar and a teacher, he touched and shaped many many lives. We lost him too early. All our thoughts at this moment are with his family and those who were closest to him in these last years, months and days. But he was a light to us all. We mourn his passing and will miss him." (Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC)

"The world has lost a non-replaceable legend. His unique depth of knowledge, hardworking character and ethics standards made him a role model for those aspiring to thrive as an international lawyer. He substantially contributed to the development of international law as a writer, professor, lawyer and a judge. Rest in heaven James." (Mojtaba Asgharian)

"How many people like me were touched by his intellect, his influence, his thoughts and presence? From PhD examiner just upon his arrival at Cambridge, to academic director to arbitration chair, he always shared his competence and wisdom in straight forward terms. RIP James Crawford! A job well done!" (Maria Gavouneli)

"Deepest condolences to the family. The world of public international law has lost a leading light." (Priya Pooran)

"I am very sorry to know this sad new on Monday. He was not only a towering figure in international law but also a professor that could understand the research of a young researcher. In 2002, I have sent to him a research proposal and he was kind enough to answer me and accept my research for following the Ph.D. program at Cambridge. Unfortunately, the application period was over. Afterwards, two times, I sent him questions related to international law and he always had time to answer them. I wanted to thank while in Cambridge (Lauterpacht, thanks to Professors Weller and Benivenisty) but he was in The Hague. We lost a great researcher and Professor of International Law, an internationalist in the whole sense of the word. Many thanks for allowing this opportunity for this few words." (Sergio Pena-Neira (Brandon Fellow, 2017-18)

"I was very sad to hear of the death of Judge James Crawford. We all learnt so much from him and greatly appreciated his sense of humor. He will be much missed by his Cambridge colleagues and the world of International Law." (Audrey Glover)

Judge James Crawford at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law with Sir Elihu Lauterpacht and Roger O'Keefe"James' most attractive aura, his ever searching eyes together with his formidable sense of humour can be hardly disputed. Following his favourite History and Theory of International Law, taking place at Christ College an early October morning (1993), all six of us were utterly attracted by the Scholar. He knew that. Therefore, he suggested to have a coffee at the Copper Kettle (King's Parade), where another excellent lecture took place on the practicalities of International Law, for James was an unparalleled practitioner too. James showed me the way to research diligently, examine thoroughly, never reach or jump into a conclusion and provide a sharp reply. In his strictness he was greatly beneficial to us all: we followed different ways, namely academia, governmental agencies and international practice. James brought me to a novel universe, where Jesus College, the then RCIL and the Hague were the spotlights! His memorials, counter-memorials and his solid participation during the oral hearings of a case brought before the ICJ and elsewhere made a profound impact on our legal perceptions. His talent to choose the proper wine for the occasion and his smile after sharing a true international anecdote will be greatly missed. My condolences to James' beloved ones and all those that grieve him. Dear James, γαίαν ἔχοις ἐλαφράν!" (Stratis Georgilas)

"I barely knew personally Professor Crawford, but learned to recognise the phenomenon of his magnanimous influence in many people around me in the world of international law. My condolences and prayers go to his family and friends, and to the people at the Lauterpacht Centre." (Monica Garcia-Salmones)

"This is very sad news. We will miss greatly his knowledge and friendship." (Malgosia Fitzmaurice)

"I was so so saddened to learn of James’ death. I worked with him for many years on PhD related matters and he really was the model PhD supervisor. He was always one step ahead of the game and, despite his extraordinary super busy schedule, I never ever had to chase him on administrative matters! On a personal level, it meant a lot to me that he sent me handwritten cards from time to time over the years - congratulating me on promotion through to condolences on my own father’s death. I remember him fondly. My thoughts are with his loved ones at this time." (Alison Hirst)

"Too early to be true... James was my advisor while I was doing PhD at Cambridge, he inspired me, helped and supported even by the mere fact “James Crawford is my PhD advisor”... In the very beginning of one the most challenging times in my life - being a PhD student at Cambridge - I approached James at his office at the LCIL to discuss my plans, hesitations about what and how I should write etc. He listened to me carefully, looked at me in a caring way while smiling and then said in a quiet voice as he always did: “You can’t know how cold the water until you go in... Just start writing and send me you piece of writing.” James always replied quickly to any of my requests as his student and was always ready to meet, to help... With his help I was able to meet, interview, and assist those even most busy and high-profile academics who early found any time for a student upon James’s request. Dear Professor, Judge James Richard Crawford, You will always live in legal science, international law jurisprudence, in all your books and in the hearts and minds of us, the students where who were lucky and privileged enough to learn from and be guided by you... RIP, Dear Professor." (Dr Guljakhon Amanova)

Judge James Crawford "Mourning the loss of a true great. James Crawford's towering intellect, principled commitments, wry humour and zest for work are legendary. Humanity seemed set for a better course when he became judge at the International Court of Justice. In Cambridge, he was my PhD supervisor, who provided astute global observations alongside close reading (eg: “A lot of promising material -- though the presentation is ragged”, or “It is well and clearly written; It is well informed … press on -- with Milton, tomorrow to fresh topics and chapters new.” I was distracted with my first pregnancy when the Lauterpacht Centre’s junior research fellowship was advertised, but with James’ encouragement I applied and won the spot – I see this as an example of his awareness of gender barriers and support for women. My role as inaugural research fellow entailed leading conferences, mentoring new students and curating new collections, all with the keen oversight and quiet support of James. When I moved to Melbourne Law School, he continued to provide mentorship and friendship with generosity and grace – including launching my book in person in 2012 and delighting in my growing family (he was soon to extend his own). He was unruffled by unsettled babes and deftly soothed them – how rare to have someone so admired by young and old! And how glad I was for the opportunity to reflect on sovereignty and fragmentation in his eyes - as supported by Freya and Christine in their 2015 edited collection. His death is hard to accept, but the foundations he built for a just and safe international legal order are rock-solid. Our lasting gratitude, James." (Professor Margaret A. Young)

"Our ways have first crossed quite early in our lives. They continued to do so in later years, time and again, always in a friendly, civilized and open way. We worked together harmoniously; and I very much regret that these occasions are over. James was a remarkable international lawyer and a good and kind friend. I will miss him." (Lucius Caflisch)

"I did not have a privilege to meet Prof. James Crawford, but he is and he will be present in his numerous and outstanding writings. Non omnis moriar Professor!" (Julia Kapelańska-Pręgowska)

"I never had the pleasure or meeting Professor Crawford. But for several years I finished my annual survey of British cases on private international law for the British Yearbook of International Law and sent it off by e-mail on Christmas Eve. My text was usually returned - edited, commented on, queried, and much the better for it - on or about Boxing Day. They don’t make editors like that any more. Sic transit." (Adrian Briggs)

"As a somewhat jaded and very middle-aged visitor to the Lauterpacht in 2008 and thereafter as a mugee (or is it muggee?) an appreciative member of the diaspora, I can testify to the extraordinary atmosphere of collegial, energised scholarship that James fostered and to the extraordinary scale of respect and affection which he inspired. What a legacy." (John R Morss)

"As a practitioner I had the enormous privilege of working with James, Ian Brownlie, Arthur Watts, and Georges Abi-Saab when we represented Nigeria at the ICJ in the case brought by Cameroon. The case commenced in 1994 and went on until 2002. It involved not only the land and maritime boundary but also issues of state responsibility, which were dealt with primarily by James. Each counsel had specific areas to deal with, but all draft pleadings were subject to scrutiny by the whole team. James dealt specifically with the maritime boundary, which extended over extensive hydrocarbon reserves. Equatorial Guinea had also intervened. James's extraordinary brilliance secured an outstanding result for Nigeria, preserving entitlement to many billions of dollars' worth of oil. Whilst the case was on James played a leading part in securing maritime boundary agreements with Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome e Principe, and subsequently Benin, thus securing all Nigeria's maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Guinea. We travelled together extensively over those years, and I can only endorse all that has been said by others of James's great good humour, patience, and general enjoyment of our West African adventures together." (Tim Daniel)

"The untimely passing of Judge Crawford is a great loss for his family, friends, and the community of international lawyers. I want to offer my sincere condolences first to his close family and friends. While I did not have the fortune to work closely with him, it was impossible to be in the field of international law and not engage with his writings and work. While his professional contributions are too many to mention, the creation of States and the law of international responsibility are enough to highlight the centrality of issues he dealt with. The pouring of heartfelt tributes to honor him over the last days, have highlighted his humane and warm personality. Rest in peace, Judge Crawford!" (Gentian Zyberi)

"I am very sad to learn of James’ death. James was not only a true icon of international law; he was also a very charming host. I fondly remember spending my birthday at his home, eating an excellent lamb that he had prepared, accompanied by first-rate red wine and inspiring conversation. My sincere condolences to his family and friends." (Katharina Peschke)

"When I think of James, I think of his truly interdisciplinary nature that worked hard to stretch the boundaries of international law to include those, like me, with humanities and social science approaches to legal matters. His curiosity about the international legal system and its essential elements, as well as the use of his influence to not only conceptualize a broader definition of law but work to make it happen, was rare and will be missed. Whether this component of his legacy, what I will call his uniquely ‘cosmopolitan vision’ of the law, continues to increase its influence in the further evolution of the law will be a function of whether his former students and colleagues, with these same predispositions, can muster his foresight, courage, generosity and discipline." (John Martin Gillroy)

Judge James Crawford at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law"I am not a lawyer. My expertise lies in mapmaking and cartography. But James loved maps as much as I do and he frequently weaved them into his speeches on boundary disputes to the International Court. We first came together in the case of Cameroun vs Nigeria. I expected to be a minor adjunct to the Legal Team composed of no less than 4 QCs. But James drew me in to the many discussions we had leading up to the oral hearings. He proposed that I and 2 colleagues should get out on the boundary for a protracted period to familiarise ourselves with the inconsistencies in the old original Treaties. We spent a month in the field and came home with a good understanding of the issues. That led James to propose that I should be designated as an Advocate and deliver a speech to the Court explaining the issues they faced. Never in a million years would I have expected a career in mapmaking to climax in a one hour speech to the International Court. James’ constant support and encouragement was a vital part of my preparation but also added to the anxiety levels as I was desperate not to let him down. In the event, it went reasonably well and I even had to make another speech in the second round by which time James had me saying “Mr President, Distinguished Members of the Court” just like him. James had the wonderful ability to inspire you to give of your best, to have confidence in the value of your knowledge to the argument being made and to go for broke rather than saying maybe this or maybe that. He transformed the eighth decade of my life and gave me memories that I will never forget. He combined greatness with modesty; powerful oratory with clever humour and clarity of thought with rapid-fire questioning. To keep on top of the Nigerian geography, I sent myself to sleep most nights by flying the border from Lake Chad to Bakassi, naming every feature, town and river as they passed below. Only in that way could I be sure to keep up with him!" (Alastair Macdonald MA (Cantab) MSc FRICS)

"The news of James' passing is already one week old, but a sense of disbelief remains. My thoughts and wishes are with his family for whom the loss is enormous. For me, James was a supervisor, and became a mentor & role model. I hope he knew how much of a difference he made to my life, and that of many of his other students. James saw through things. Was open-minded, warm & generous. Never pretentious. He had a mischievous smile and a twinkle in the eye. His curiosity was boundless, his encouragement empowered. Splinters of memory remain: of early morning supervisions in the Lauterpacht Centre; of cricket stories barely grasped. Blue Mountain coffee served in a cafetière. Two-line emails offering succinct advice. Shared enthusiasm for Jack Aubrey. I will cherish them. Rest in peace, dear James." (Christian J. Tams)

"I was indebted to James in so many ways. As a friend and colleague there was no one quite like him; no one with whom I could discuss with such frankness and insight things going on in the international law field. What a treat it was to plan and prepare the Cambridge Companion with him! It was James who stood behind the invitation for my one year as Goodhart Professor in Cambridge (2008-9) and who already early on gave me some very sane advise about how to plan one’s career so as not to give up scholarly ambitions and family life to practical assignments as arbitrator, judge etc. – advise that he knew he could have used earlier in his own life . I belong to that very large crowd of friends and colleagues who were deeply impressed by his combination of warm heart and rigorous thinking. There can be no better combination for an international lawyer. Which is why so many people, including myself, regarded him as the leading international lawyer of his generation, a real role model for younger lawyers. Together with many others, I will deeply miss him." (Martti Koskenniemi)

"This is so huge a loss, so early, so sad for us all. Whether conferring with him in the Foreign Office, in discussion with him at meetings, or working with him in a litigation team, I was always struck not only by James' immense talents as an international lawyer, but also by his warmth, kindness to all and lack of egotism. How he will be missed." (Elizabeth Wilmshurst)

"James was a towering figure in the field, which he shaped in so many ways. I was particularly impressed by his ability to be at the forefront of both scholarship and practice. I recall when I joined Cambridge, we went for dinner at the Three Horseshoes, a nice pub in Madingley, and chatted about Cambridge, interntional law, Argentina, and many other things. At one point he asked me: 'what about practice?'. 'Well, I said, I sort of left full-time practice to do more academic work, but interesting work is always tempting'. He looked at me, smiled, and said: "I have been in four continents this month ... take it easy'. These incredibly simple words, the way he pronounced them, with his smile and eagle eyes, stayed in my memory, even more vividly that the many other discussions and light moments I was fortunate to share with James. They now sound much like an ancient sage's dictum, with every word full of meaning. Each time a student or a young practitioner asks me about combining theory and practice, I simply recall the anecdote, leaving the meaning open, for each of them to decide. I still haven't decided what exactly they mean for me." (Jorge Vinuales)

Judge James Crawford at the Hague"I met James when he was still in Australia, but attending ILA Executive Council meetings regularly in London in the 1980's as its Director of Research. When Saddam Hussein had been driven out of Kuwait in early 1991 and the UN Security Council had established the United Nations Compensation Commission I telephoned him to inquire whether he might care to be considered for the position of Deputy Secretary of the Commission. He declined, quite reasonably, informing me that he just had been elected the Whewell Professor of International Law at Cambridge. We met with some frequency after that. Thanks to James and to Robbie Jennings I spent the Michaelmas Term 2001 as a Visiting Fellow at Jesus College and at the Lauterpacht Centre, followed by a couple of summer Fellowships at the Centre. We met at various conferences. I both sat with him in a NAFTA arbitration and as arbitrator was treated to his advocacy. In two of the three cases in which I have been sitting since 2014 as Judge ad hoc of the ICJ James was on the Court and not conflicted and our seats were very close. Indeed I consulted him regarding my opinions. Ours was a long and for me profitable as well as very comfortable friendship, from which I always learned and for which I shall be eternally grateful." (Hon. Charles N. Brower)


"As well as being an exceptional scholar and practitioner of international law, James was generous, kind, and caring. He was a remarkable PhD supervisor, always ready to read and respond to work no matter the time of day or night. Despite his ferocious work ethic and deep commitment to international law, he retained an openness to other ways of looking at the world. I remember with great fondness the intermingling of poetry and law in our conversations. Alongside the intricacies of the law of the sea we circled around what James called the ‘difficulties’ of Wallace Stevens. To dear James, then, from ‘Sunday Morning’— We live in an old chaos of the sun, Or old dependency of day and night, Or island solitude, unsponsored, free, Of that wide water, inescapable. Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness; And, in the isolation of the sky, At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make Ambiguous undulations as they sink, Downward to darkness, on extended wings." (Kate Purcell)

"As well as being an inspirational international lawyer (and constitutional lawyer, a field of his expertise sometimes forgotten), judge, advocate, arbitrator and teacher, James was a great colleague. He encouraged and supported people while leaving them free to pursue their own interests. When I arrived in Cambridge I asked James, who was Chair of the Faculty of Law, what he wanted me to do. 'You're a professor', he replied, 'go out and profess.' James was thoughtful and generous. He often used his own money to help to fund what he regarded as worthwhile Faculty activities. When he handed the Chairmanship on to me, he left a card on the desk with useful pieces of information, including, 'The whisky (unfinished bottles of) in the cupboard are for you - you may need them!' His advice was always worth having, but never proffered unless sought. In all he did, he showed hs concern for the welfare of the Faculty, for his colleagues, for his students and former students and for the coherent development of international law as a system of rules. I remember him with gratitude, admiration and affection, and offer condolences to family and his world-wide circle of friends." (David Feldman)

"Seminars at the Centre and teaching with James in my last years at Cambridge were amongst the most formative experiences in my career. He never allowed a good point to be lost or a bad one to go unchallenged. He would improve someone else's argument, but do so with a tone and gestures that indicated validation. He knew how to deliver criticism and disagreement in the clearest and most concise way, the inevitable cutting effect tempered by his direct but not confrontational gaze and the warm smile that never failed to follow. There was no better person with whom to discuss a budding idea: after an exchange with him, it would blossom or be nipped—both helpful to students and colleagues. Every international lawyer would have wished to see him on the Court for many years ahead. May each one of us be guided by his wise judgment, intellectual rigour and clarity of expression. Condolences to his family, so many of whom will not be able to be near their other dear ones in these sad days. There are many of us mourning with you." (Guglielmo Verdirame QC)

"‘Cum repeto noctem, qua tot mihi cara reliqui, labitur ex oculis nunc quoque gutta meis’ … the death of a loved one is, indeed, undistinguishable from becoming forever exiled from a part of one’s own soul. Our thoughts and prayers are respectfully with those for whom the grief of exile they have felt at the passing away of James Crawford is like that evoked by Ovid in his Tristia an everlasting one." (Ignacio de la Rasilla & Hao Yayezi)

"James was an inspiring mentor and dear friend, always kind and encouraging, especially to newcomers in the exclusive world of ICJ practitioners. His was an exceptional journey, a reminder that every moment counts. In the words of Rumi: "every mortal will taste death, but only some will taste life."" (Payam Akhavan)

"Professor Crawford (this is how I met and continued to title Mr. James) was a distinguished member of the international law community. His fame was omnipresent as was the respect paid to him. Professor Crawford contributed greatly to the development of the law of statehood and he undoubtedly could be hailed as a modern father of this subdiscipline. I was lucky to get a signed copy of ''The Creation of States in International Law'' for the 2013 Christmas, which continues to be a point of reference in my academic career. I use this opportunity to express sincere condolence to all family and friends and my friend James Jr, with whom I enjoyed playing and talking." (Sava Jankovic)

"I have lost a friend. Together we directed the Lauterpacht centre, worked on State Responibility at the ILC, drank champagne and wine in Cambridge, climbed mountains in Switzerland, plotted the future of international law and met as judges in The Hague. His Creation of States and Draft Articles on State Responsibility are monuments to his memory." (John Dugard)

"I knew Professor Crawford when I was a visiting fellow at at the Lauterpacht Centre, I will remember him for his brilliance, kindness, humility and a great classical music collection. Our conversations and his views on the fragmentation of international law, inspired my research work in the context of trade. My deepest condolences go out to his family." (Deepali Fernandes)

"I am very sad to hear of the death of Professor James Crawford. Can't really describe such pain with words. Had the privilege of meeting him back in 1997 when visiting LRCIL for almost a year. Always felt very close to him by his humanity and kindness. He made me, and I believe I can speak for all of us in the LRCIL, feel part of a family. In 2013, in a brief visit to Cambridge, had the chance to meet him again and to discuss issues related to my professional career. He told me about the possibility of joining the ICJ. Always felt his support and his generosity. In the words of Boethius: "He who is virtuous is wise; and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy". Condolences to his family. No doubt there many of us are mourning with you." (Alejo Morodo)

Judge James Crawford and Sir Eli Lauterpacht at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law

"… And he, the best warrior, dead And all the sheaves to bind! … (from A Child Dancing upon the Shore, William Butler Yeats) My first encounter with James was in his then downstairs office at the Lauterpacht Centre in the summer of 1997 when I arrived to work at Cambridge University Press (CUP) as its new law editor. At that time he was already a serving member of our University’s Academic Publishing Committee (aka ‘The Press Syndicate’). Twinkling eyes and a mop of black hair peeped out above an orderly desk, and he listened kindly as I held forth on my mixed impressions of CUP’s newly acquired Grotius Publications titles from Eli Lauterpacht that had recently joined Cambridge’s then relatively small law list. Where to start, and whom to connect with, if we were to maximise the potential of this combined portfolio? The ever generous James literally opened his address book to me, and we were off on an adventure that took me and my later team into the hearts and minds of some of the greatest living scholars and practitioners in international law for the next twenty odd years. Several hundred books and many new journals later, the world class Cambridge international law list today owes much to the Crawford network. We must first pay particular tribute to James’s imaginative stewardship as a transformative series editor of Cambridge Studies in International & Comparative Law. In addition to having a nose for an emerging topic for a book and the right author for it, James always maintained an open mind regarding unknown newcomers. In the midst of a difficult decision about whether to invite a resubmission of a book proposal with a disappointing first round of peer review, I once asked him whether we were effectively now offering Cambridge supervision to would be authors? ‘Il faut encourager les autres’, he replied! James’s professional standing as a widely respected international lawyer in Asia was pivotal to the building of a lasting relationship between Cambridge and the Asian Society of International Law. I experienced a warm welcome from many delegates when I visited Tokyo for its second inaugural conference in 2009, and the Press went on to partner with them for the Asian Journal of International Law. Turning to James’ own writing, he was ever courteous and used people’s names in all correspondence. Without exception, his own publications at Cambridge were successful on both commercial and scholarly grounds. James was a founding Editor of the ICSID Reports series, foreseeing the future proliferation of fora for the resolution of investment disputes. The seeds of his magnum opus on State Responsibility: The General Part were sown in our first conversation about his earlier editorship of the ILC’s Articles on State Responsibility. Another warm memory I have is of the sparkling lecture that he and Martti Koskenniemi gave in the Faculty of Law in Cambridge when they spoke of the fun they had in choosing an appropriate cover image for The Cambridge Companion to International Law. Ever a gifted speaker, I had the great pleasure of being present in Washington DC to hear James give the American Society of International Law’s Hudson Medal Lecture in 2012, with a powerful use of lines from a poem of Wallace Stevens at the start. ‘What a pity law and literature remain oil and water’, James once wrote to me. He had a wide and varied personal library well beyond law, and a great Australian capacity for friendship. My last in person encounter with James was in Athens in September 2019 at the Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law. My beloved father had died in April of that same year, and we talked of grief and age, and the enduring importance of books. At the closing session, James spoke (characteristically with few notes) to a packed hall and warned that we should be wary of a world where belligerent actions by states can no longer be challenged. Let us try to carry James' torch carefully!" (Finola O'Sullivan)

"I instructed James whilst he was at Cambridge on many different public international law issues ranging from consular immunity in the Isle of Man to expropriation in Ethiopia, the Eritrean/Ethiopian conflict and various ICSID applications. His responses to my queries were almost always by return of email and invariably erudite and succinct answers to the questions raised. His capacity for work was remarkable. Meeting him on one occasion for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC prior to a meeting at ICSID I commented that he looked as though he'd spent the night at Dulles airport. He replied that as his flight arrived late in to Washington DC and his meeting with me was early the next morning he'd grabbed a couple of hours sleep in the terminal before making his way to our meeting! Notwithstanding his travel difficulties his performance at our meeting with ICSID was as always outstanding. He will be sorely missed." (Stephen Sutton, Suttons Solicitors and International Lawyers London)

"James was extraordinary person and a wonderful supervisor – inspiring and insightful, but also incredibly generous, encouraging, and caring. His contribution to international law was enormous, but it was his support and mentorship that so many of us will remember—and that means his memory will burn brightly for so many years to come. He will be sorely missed." (Andrew Sanger)

"As an English born and Cambridge educated lawyer but now an Australian maritime lawyer I was a beneficiary of the great work he did when he was Commissioner in charge of the reference to the Australian Law Reform Commission that produced a Report on Civil Admiralty Jurisdiction in 1986 which included draft Legislation and Rules which were enacted in 1988. I also came to know him when he was working on a section on Admiralty for Laws of Australia. He was a great loss to the legal profession in Australia when he moved to Cambridge but clearly became known to a much wider audience (including students) when he did so. His memory will long live in the minds of his students and those who were fortunate enough to work with him." (Stuart Hetherington)

"The death of James Crawford has deprived the international legal community of one of its finest minds. Closer to home, it has deprived all of us who knew and worked with James of a great colleague and friend." (Chris Greenwood)

"I was deeply saddened to hear the news about the passing of someone very special, James Crawford ... a great loss to his family, the international legal community, his many friends, students, colleagues and me personally since I first met him in 1993. I was his doctoral student in Cambridge ... it was a true honor and joy for it wasn’t only supervision that he gave me ... it was more ... it was mentorship and friendship, coaching and generous support. On numerous occasions when I seemed to hit rock bottom, he would be there ... two years ago, I flew to see him at The Hague ... he invited me for lunch ... I said I was grateful for what he gave me ... And indeed forever I will be ... that lunch at the Court in The Hague on March 15th, 2019 was farewell ... I will always remember that last lunch, as well as the beautiful memories with him in Cambridge, especially at the Lauterpacht Centre where I lived for four years ... bless your soul dear James ... Rest In Peace." (Fadi Makki)

"James was just as involved in the heavy stuff as he was in the fun stuff – we had a great time coming up with trivia questions for the ESIL conference in Cambridge in 2010. His short 2012 essay recounting an (only slightly embellished) conversation with Martti Koskienniemi about the cover art for the Cambridge Companion to International Law reveals not only his great sense of humor, but also his passionate interest in the cover art for his books! James had an absolute mastery of multiple issues across the spectrum of international law, along with a very personal commitment to both the practice and teaching of international law. He treated each of the immense tasks that he undertook as equally worthy of his time and attention. That is what made James so unique, and why he will be so deeply missed. He mentored so many of us, contributed to so many texts with which we are familiar, and participated in law-making. There are few that could ever hope to match the breadth and depth of his contribution to our discipline. So to my mentor, friend, teacher, and guide, I say thank you for changing my life in the most wonderful of ways. Vale." (Juliette McIntyre)

"Indeed it is a great honour to be a student of such a rich legal mind of International Law. I was lucky to be his student in the 2015 summer school of Xiamen Academy of International Law (along with Judge Hisashi Owada & Judge Xue Hanqin). we enjoyed not only his lectures but his sense of humour as well. It will always remain in my heart that I was unable to see him after that. He aroused the interest of International Law in me like many others. Dear Sir James Crawford! You will be missed a lot. Rest in peace." (Khalid Mahmood Ranjha)

"I only discovered the sad news of the death of Judge James Crawford today. His book entitled The Creation of States in International Law is a monumental achievement of care and detail, and it is unfortunate that, like Sir Hersch Lauterpacht before him, he was unable to complete his term on the International Court." (Graeme Baber)

"In memoriam Professor James Crawford Scholarly contributions to the LRCIL website celebrating the life and work of Professor James Crawford rightly emphasize his enormous contribution to public international law in areas such as the rights of indigenous peoples, his codification role for the International Law Commission, the establishment of the International Criminal Court and (perhaps most publicly) his service on the bench of the International Court of Justice. I, as a non-lawyer, benefited from James Crawford’s personal warmth and scholarly openness to other perspectives when, as director of the Lauterpacht Research Centre, he invited me to become a member and pursue an interest in the political aspects of international law in the creation of the ICJ and its predecessor, the League of Nations’ Permanent Court of International Justice, both of which institutions (like the ICC) bore the marks of the traditional opposition of the USA to joining any international organization which denied, either explicitly or in practice, an American veto over procedure and substance. Undoubtedly James would have endorsed the aphorism of the American legal scholar Louis Henkin: ‘all law … is political.’ It was the essence of the argument put by the German government during the most important case ever decided by the PCIJ some ninety years ago: ‘behind legal phrases and forms lie the active forces of national and international … life'. If a (lengthy) footnote may be allowed (and with James’s scholarship very much in my mind) I add some references and technicalities. The case in question was the so-called Customs Régime between Germany and Austria (Protocol of 19 March 1931): PCIJ, Series C, no. 53. Though decided by the Court via an advisory opinion (with a majority of 8:7), the crucial and decisive ‘individual opinion’ being drafted by Dionisio Anzilotti, the case had particular repercussions in the USA, where the Senate was re-considering adhering to the Court. (The Senate had agreed to adherence in 1926, but with significant – even wrecking – conditions.) The words I have attributed to the German government come from its then Foreign Minister, Julius Curtius. For Curtius’s later account, see Bemühung um Österreich: das Scheitern des Zollunionsplans von 1931 (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag, 1947). For Anzilotti, see PCIJ, series A/B, Customs Regime, pp. 55-73. For Anzilotti’s jurisprudence more generally, see Opere di Dionisio Anzilotti, 4 vols in 5 (Padova: CEDAM, 1955-63), I, pp. 43 ff., II, pp. 593-767. It is great deal of time since I was working on these matters; but back then I thought the best (and relatively brief) account of the issues was the contemporaneous study by Franz Vali, Die deutsch-österreichische Zollunion vor dem Ständigen Internationalen Gerischshof (Wien: Manz 1932)." (Michael Dunne  - Former Visiting Fellow)

Professor Crawford was my supervisor in international law at Jesus College. He was an inspiration and, in addition to being a giant in his field, was honourable, humane and humble always. (Lifen Tang)

"My greatest honor of this lifetime to receive International law teaching from a master like you. Will live to tell my grandchildren of it." (Sri Ruma Sarasani)

"I had the privilege of attending professor Crawford’s lectures at Cambridge. In addition to being a fantastic teacher and having a brilliant mind, he was dynamic, interesting, and open minded. Coming from India I found his viewpoint refreshing and reassuring- he was empathetic to the perspective of former colonies and not steeped in traditional thinking about international law. He made tremendous contributions to international law. He was also a wonderful person. It is sad that the world lost him so soon." (Svati Kania)

"I arrived at Cambridge in the Winter of 1994 to pursue my doctorate in the area of International Environmental Law. Coming from a developing country, this was quite an unnerving experience. Yet, I was privileged to be part of a Seminar series hosted by Professor Crawford and also having him serve as my first year evaluator. Professor Crawford was very supportive and encouraging. This certainly made my journey easier. Thanks to a great scholar. A great human." (Professor Rajendra Ramlogan/Commercial and Environmental Law)

"James’contribution to our lives as international lawyers, and as the friend to so many, has been huge.His achievements have been truly outstanding and are well recounted elswhere.But mention must also be made of the person he was, which made his accomplishments ever greater. These qualities of character underpinned everything about him- his writings, his pleadings and advocacy, his relationships, his great variety of work in the public domain,including for his government and the ILC. His scholarship was utterly, utterly reliable. Nothing he ever wrote or said was tailored or airbrushed to suggest a preferred outcome. He never, ever misled, and what he claimed as facts could truly be relied on as such. Legal arguments were never overstated- qualifications or alternative possibilities were always there to see. He never exaggerated, whether to his students or to the many courts and tribunals before which he appeared. He was utterly courteous in all that he did. And he never had a snide or malicious word to say about anyone.And he nurtured his friends. James Crawford burst into my field of vision when he wrote his early report on state immunity as it affected Australia.Our longstanding friendship was established at the personal level when he came to take up the Whewell Chair at Cambridge and I was Professor of International Law at London University His remarkable achievements over the years were the greater because of the person he was. I shall miss him greatly." (Rosalyn Higgins)

“I first met James Crawford in 1987 when I spent a term at Sydney University Law School where he was then a professor. To my delight it was not long before he reappeared in Cambridge as Whewell Professor.

James was a kind and generous man and I have cause to be very grateful to him. I have always thought of James as a magnificent international lawyer who has made a huge contribution to the development of the subject. I have in mind in particular his work on the creation of States and his work at the International Law Commission on State responsibility. He leaves a great legacy behind him.

I had not seen James for some time. When I last saw him he was clearly unwell but he delivered an inspiring lecture. It is a great tragedy that he has been taken from us so soon. I will remember him with admiration and affection." (David Lloyd Jones)

"It is with great sadness and some shock that we learnt of the untimely passing of James Crawford, who touched in one way or another, to great or greater degrees, our various lives. Most memorably, I served as Counsel representing Palestine in the Wall case at the ICJ with James on the legal team arguing the matter. Weaving together the facts of the case and the legal principles was only one aspect. Working with James in the trenches to shape the practical strategies of fighting a battle to win was a first class education and a vigorous experience that led to a historic international legal outcome. In this way, as we know of the leviathan figure, James made history often. And while the loss of the man and his continuing contributions will be felt in the field and by a large number and broad range of individuals, his legacy will endure not least in the great learning to be done from what he left behind. As we mark the cadence of the evolution of international law so much through the names of the publicists that illuminated legal doctrine, James’ name will strike a beat for generations to come." (Jarat Chopra, LLM, PhD (Cantab))

"James' writings, practice, and personal kindness were not only inspiring during his lifetime but shall continue to reverberate through succeeding generations. Like so many others, I was a recipient of his kind encouragement and shall always be grateful." (Prof Dan Sarooshi QC)

"Professor Crawford was an inspiring teacher and his approach to international law was never devoid of history and politics, and it always carried a sense of immediacy and sensitivity to the evolving geopolitical scene. His intellect and encyclopedic knowledge in this field of the law would be sadly missed." (Raymond Ho LLM & MCL (Cantab))

"I was about to write to Professor Crawford sitting as Judge of the ICJ as I had just received the 9th edition of his Brownlie’s Principles of International Law for use in my class on the Relations of International Law and National Law only to learn that my eminent friend had passed away. We met as co- presenters of papers on Teaching International Law in Seoul, Korea many years ago. Farewell most learned friend and condolences to the family." (Philippine Supreme Court Justice (ret.) ADOLFO S AZCUNA)

"Un arquitecto del Derecho Internacional, paz en su tumba y que brillen por siempre sus inspiradoras interpretaciones doctrinales." (William Pedroza Nieto)