Ronald St. John Macdonald.

Author:Hughes, Valerie
Position:Canadian Council on International Law former president - Obituary

As President of the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL), it is my honor to make this tribute on behalf of the CCIL to Professor Ronald St. John Macdonald, who passed away on September 7, 2006.

When Professor Macdonald passed away a few months ago, we in the CCIL lost our founder, our Honorary President, and our most loyal supporter. We also lost our friend.

Thirty-five years ago, Professor Macdonald and a small group of Canadian international law scholars established the Canadian Council on International Law to promote the study and analysis in Canada of international legal issues. Professor Macdonald was elected Founding President. He remained a leading member and supporter of the CCIL for the rest of his life.

The CCIL held a special session to honor Professor Macdonald at our last annual conference in October 2006. It was a remarkable event. Contributors spoke of the profound influence that Professor Macdonald had not only on international law, but also on their lives, both personally and professionally. It became evident that Professor Macdonald had mentored and assisted many in their studies and careers in international law. We learned that the CCIL was only one of Professor Macdonald's creations, for he seems to have been responsible for launching countless international law careers in Canada and abroad.

The CCIL set up a page on its website where members could write tributes to Professor Macdonald. If you have a few moments, you would do well to read through the many essays and comments that tell the story of who was Professor Macdonald in a way no obituary ever could. Professor Macdonald's friends and admirers remembered so many special things about him and had come to know him in so many different ways. Many praised Professor Macdonald as a leading scholar and proponent of international law generally, and human rights law in particular. He contributed numerous articles and essays to various journals and books and was the impetus behind innumerable international law projects. Even during the last year of his life he was collaborating on yet another project he conceived dealing with the human fight to peace.

Some spoke of Professor Macdonald as an influential teacher of international law; graduates from Osgoode Hall (1955-1959), University of Western Ontario (1959-1961), University of Toronto (1961-1972) and Dalhousie Law School (1972-1990) had the good fortune of having him as professor and dean.

Some wrote of Professor...

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