University mourns passing of James Crawford (1948-2021)
The University of Adelaide has expressed its sorrow following the death of one of its greatest law graduates, His Excellency Judge James Crawford AC SC FBA.
Described as “the pre-eminent international lawyer of our times”, James Crawford was a globally respected academic, lawyer and jurist, and from 2015 was a Judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.
“It is with great sadness that we have heard the news of the passing of one of our esteemed graduates, His Excellency Judge James Crawford AC SC,” says the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC.
“James will be sadly missed. We are very proud of his achievements: he was one of Australia’s most eminent jurists and he was a dear friend and colleague to the Adelaide Law School.
“As the only Australian to be a permanent member of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, his contribution to international law was exemplary.
“We greatly appreciated James’s particularly close relationship with the University of Adelaide – he was always willing to provide advice to, and mentor, prospective scholars. Many of our Law School’s graduates and current staff were inspired by James to pursue studies in international law.
“In addition to the Crawford Oration, which is an ongoing feature in the Law School’s calendar, we will celebrate and acknowledge his extraordinary life and service in due course,” Professor Høj says.
Born in 1948, James Crawford studied at the University of Adelaide, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English history and politics) in 1971. He graduated in 1977 from the University of Oxford with a DPhil in international law.
“James will be sadly missed. We are very proud of his achievements: he was one of Australia’s most eminent jurists and he was a dear friend and colleague to the Adelaide Law School."Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.
In the same year, he returned to the University of Adelaide as a lecturer in international law and constitutional law, and was made a Professor of the University in law in 1983.
After serving as a professor of international law and Dean of Law at the University of Sydney, in 1992 he was elected to the Whewell Professorship of International Law at the University of Cambridge, and in the same year was elected to the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC). At the ILC he played a critical role in the laws behind the establishment of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
During his time at the University of Cambridge, he served as Chair of the Faculty of Law and as Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law.
Professor Crawford was elected to the International Court of Justice in 2014 and commenced his position in 2015.
The University of Adelaide recognised his achievements with the Distinguished Alumni award in 2012 and an honorary Doctor of Laws in 2015. The Adelaide Law School also holds an oration in his name.
In 2019, the Crawford family gifted a portrait of James to the Adelaide Law School, where it resides in pride of place in the Law School’s Salmond Law Library.
David Ellis, Interim Director – Media and Corporate Relations, The University of Adelaide
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