Dr. Jacob Kellenberger of the International Committee of the Red Cross Delivers 14th Annual Grotius Lecture to Open ASIL Annual Meeting


On Wednesday, March 28, American University Washington College of Law and the American Society of International Law (ASIL) presented the 14th Annual Grotius Lecture to open the 106th ASIL Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This year's speaker was Dr. Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Dr. Kellenberger (pictured right) discussed "Confronting Complexity in International Law."

Fourteen years ago, American University Washington College of Law and ASIL launched the Grotius Lecture as an annual event to open ASIL's annual conference. The event is named for Hugo Grotius, who is considered the father of international law.

"The Grotius Lecture has provided a unique forum for speakers at the top of international law to address issues of vital concern to the international community," said Dean Claudio Grossman. "We are pleased for the opportunity to work with ASIL in presenting such an engaging and important program.

Dr. Kellenberger has been president of the ICRC since 2000. He began his career in the Swiss diplomatic service in 1974 and has held various posts in the Swiss embassies in Madrid, Brussels (European Communities) and London. From 1984-1992 he was in charge of relations with the European Communities and the European Free Trade Association as head of the Integration Office in Berne as Minister and later as Ambassador. From 1992-1999 Kellenberger was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Political Director, where he also acted as coordinator and chief negotiator for the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the European Union. Kellenberger holds a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Basel and Catania.

Kellenberger was introduced by Grossman and the evening's distinguished discussant was Professor Leila Sadat, director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at the Washington University of Law.

The Grotius Lecture is organized annually by the law school's International Legal Studies Program.