1931-07-14

THOMAS FRANCK, international law adviser, jurist, and educator, was born (d: 2009); A legal adviser to many foreign governments and an ad hoc judge and advocate before the International Court of Justice and the author of many books on international law, Franck was the founder of the Center for International Studies at New York University. Brown University Professor of Law and international relations, David Kennedy called Franck “the leading American scholar of international law, an enthusiast for new ideas to make the world a more ordered and humane place. He was a powerful voice in just about every discussion of important international law in the last four decades.”

Professor Franck’s advocacy was rooted in his own childhood. Fleeing from Nazi Germany just before Kristallnacht, Frank was born in Berlin, the only child of Hugo and Ilse Franck. An early advocate of de-colonialization in the 1950s,

Professor Franck wrote constitutions for several African countries as they emerged from British rule, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which became Tanzania, and Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe; and Sierra Leone.

He later served as legal adviser to the governments of Kenya, Mauritius, the Solomon Islands, El Salvador and Chad. From 1995 to 2007 he was counsel to Bosnia before the International Court of Justice in the case against Serbia in the case of the slaughter of 8,000 Bosnians at Srebrenica.

Dr. Franck’s marriage to Martin Daly was one of the 18,000 marriages the Supreme Court of California allowed to stand in the wake of Proposition 8. Franck died on May 29, 2009 and is survived by his partner of many years.