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Statement on the Passing of Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni

A founding member of the ABA’s ICC Project Board of Advisors, Prof. Bassiouni’s positive impact on the field of international criminal law is immeasurable.

Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, who passed away September 25, was a true giant of international criminal law, or as many called him, its “father”. His contributions to increasing criminal accountability for mass atrocity crimes in particular, and to the advancement of human rights in general, are legion, and they will endure. His career was unparalleled in many respects and recounting his accomplishments is almost impossible to do (The Washington Post did an admirable job attempting to do so). His professional contributions were matched by his good humor and his openness to engage with anyone, be it a president of a nation or a first year law student. 

Prof. Bassiouni was an active and influential member of the American Bar Association. He was one of the first members of the Board of Advisors of the ABA’s International Criminal Court Project, and stalwart supporter of its initiatives. He was also a driving force behind the formation of the International Criminal Justice Consortium that the ABA and Siracusa International Institute (which he founded and served as its president) are members of along with twelve other rule of law and human rights organizations. We will miss him deeply, and carry on our work that he will continue to inspire.

His contributions to increasing criminal accountability for mass atrocity crimes in particular, and to the advancement of human rights in general, are legion, and they will endure.