International Judicial Monitor
Published by the International Judicial Academy, Washington, D.C., with assistance from the
American Society of International Law

Fall 2010 Issue

Justice In Profile

Judge Theodor Meron

Judge Theodor MeronBy: Taylor G. Stout, Reporter, International Judicial Monitor

Judge Theodor Meron currently serves in the Appeals Chamber of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).  Born in Kalisz, Poland in 1930, he is a Holocaust survivor and immigrated to the United States from Israel in 1978.  Judge Meron studied law at the University of Jerusalem, Cambridge University, and Harvard University, where he earned a doctorate.  He has been a professor of international law since 1978 and has published many books and articles in leading academic journals.

Government Service

Prior to immigrating to the United States, Judge Meron served in the Israeli Foreign Service.  He held the positions of Legal Advisor to the Foreign Ministry and Ambassador to Canada and to the United Nations.  After becoming a United States citizen in 1984, he served as a member of the United States Delegation to the Rome Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court.  There he participated in drafting provisions on the offenses of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  He also served on a commission charged with defining the crime of aggression.  Later, from 2000 through 2001, Judge Meron served as Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State. 

Academic Career

Judge Meron is a renowned scholar of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and international criminal law.  He is widely published, having written several books and articles that helped establish the legal foundation for international criminal tribunals.  He has contributed to several prominent publications on international law, including serving as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law and on the Board of Editors of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law.  He has also held several prominent academic posts.  He has been a professor of international law since 1978 and held the Charles L. Denison Chair at New York University Law School from 1994 to 2006.  In addition, Judge Meron has been the Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, the Carnegie Lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law, and a Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Max Planck Institute, and All Souls College, Oxford.  Judge Meron has been a visiting professor at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley.  He also held the position of Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva from 1991 to 1995. 

Service with NGOs

In addition to his government service and academic career, Judge Meron has served as a member of many distinguished professional associations and non-governmental organizations.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Society of International Law, the French Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, and the Bar of the State of New York.  Judge Meron has advised a number of international human rights organizations, including Americas Watch and the International League for Human Rights.  Finally, he has served on several committees of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and he leads the annual Red Cross seminars on international humanitarian law for U.N. diplomats. 

Judicial Career

Judge Meron joined the ICTY in 2001 and was immediately assigned to the Appeals Chamber.  Because the ICTY and the ICTR share the Appeals Chamber, Judge Meron has heard numerous appeals from both ad hoc international criminal tribunals.  In February 2003, the judges of the ICTY elected Judge Meron President of the ICTY, a position that he held until November 2005.  Since completing his tenure as president, he has continued to hear cases as a judge in the Appeals Chamber.

 Judge Meron is the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors, including the 2005 Rule of Law Award given by the International Bar Association, the 2006 Manley O. Hudson Medal of the American Society of International Law, and the 2008 Haskins Prize awarded by the American Council of Learned Societies.  He was also awarded the Legion of Honor by the President of France in 2007.  In addition to his legal prowess, Judge Meron is an avid Shakespeare enthusiast.  He is a member of the Shakespeare Institute and has written books and articles on the laws of war and chivalry in Shakespeare’s historical plays.       



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with assistance from the American Society of International Law.

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