The world lost a true warrior in the field of international law and justice with the untimely passing of Professor Robert Cryer at the start of the new year.
Rob was a Professor of International and Criminal Law at the University of Birmingham Law School, where he was beloved by his students and colleagues alike. He was a prolific scholar, publishing a number of articles and many influential books in the field, including, notably, Prosecuting International Crimes: Selectivity in the International Criminal Law Regime (Cambridge: CUP, 2005), and co-authoring (with Håkan Friman, Darryl Robinson and Elizabeth Wilmshurst) An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure (CUP, 4th ed., 2019) and (with Neil Boister) The Tokyo International Military Tribunal: A Reappraisal (OUP, 2008). He was generous with his time and knowledge, frequently delivering lectures at both the national and international level, primarily on international criminal law and public international law more generally.
Rob was a special friend to the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute and contributed to the writing of the world’s first treaty on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity through his collaborations with the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University School of Law. He participated in several meetings of the Initiative, including the 2009 Hague Intersessional Experts’ Meeting of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative and the 2010 Washington Capstone Conference, which resulted in the Washington Declaration on the Need for a Comprehensive Convention on Crimes Against Humanity. In 2014, he spoke eloquently and persuasively on promoting inter-state cooperation at the 2014 Geneva Experts’ Meeting on Fulfilling the Dictates of Public Conscience: Moving Forward with a Convention on Crimes Against Humanity. Even when he could not be physically present at meetings of the Initiative, Rob was always willing to lend his expertise and advocate for the treaty among the international community in which he was widely respected.
Rob will be sorely missed by both those who knew him personally, or, like many around the world, those who came to know him through his influential writings and research. At the Harris Institute, his loss is keenly felt indeed. Our condolences to his friends and family. May his memory be a blessing.