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The ICJ mourns its President Professor Sir Nigel Rodley

The ICJ President Professor Sir Nigel Rodley passed away today in Colchester (UK) at the age of 75, following a short illness.

Elected President of the ICJ in 2012, he was serving his third term as such. He had been first elected to the Commission in 2003 and re-elected in 2008 and 2013. He served as a member of the Executive Committee from 2004-2006.

He was also a Council member of JUSTICE, the British Section of the International Commission of Jurists.

Professor Sir Nigel Rodley was a towering figure in the area of international human rights, playing many roles as an educator, as an academic, as an activist and as an advocate.

He established and expanded the first human rights law department at Amnesty International in the 1970s and 1980s, leading the organization’s work on the development and promotion on international legal standards.

He spent eight years, from 1993 to 2001, as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture, visiting dozens of countries and working tenaciously toward the eradication of torture worldwide.

From 2001 to 2016 he served on the UN Human Rights Committee, including a period as it Chairman, where he often served as the intellectual author of the Committee’s most prominent accomplishments.

Thousands of students of international human rights law – many of today’s leading human rights defenders – were mentored by him at the University of Essex.

He published extensively in the human rights field, and was one of the world’s leading experts on the question of torture and the treatment of prisoners under international law.

“Sir Nigel was a stalwart of the human rights movement and his firm commitment to the promotion of human rights and rule of law has had a deep and lasting impact that will continue in his absence,” said Wilder Tayler, the ICJ Secretary General.


January 25, 2017