Sunday, February 14, 2010

Krzysztof Skubiszewski (Poznań,1926 - Warsaw 2010)

Krzysztof Skubiszewski (Poznań,1926 - Warsaw 2010)

Professor Krzysztof Skubiszewski has died.
The international legal community in The Hague knew him well and will miss him dearly. He had many footsteps there. Already in 1956 he attended the summer-course of The Hague Academy of International Law and in 1960 the Research Center of the Academy. In 1993, when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs, he was candidate to the International Court of Justice to fill the vacancy created by the decease of Judge Lachs. He withdrew his candidacy on the appeal of the Polish Prime Minister. After the sudden fall of the government he still came to The Hague as newly appointed member of the Iran – United States Claims Tribunal (and in 1994 became its President). He was Judge ad hoc in several cases before the International Court of Justice. He also was member of the Steering Committee of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and member of the Curatorium of the Hague Academy of International Law.

The German occupation of Poland during his childhood, followed by the communist regime had an everlasting influence on his life and work. He was keenly aware of Poland’s precarious position in Europe between Germany and Russia. Many of his publications deal with the special relationship of Poland with its neighbors and his vision of Poland as a bridge between East and West Europe.
After an impressive international law career he joined in 1989 the first non-communist Polish government. As foreign minister he was the architect of the Polish pro-western foreign policy, with the final recognition of the Polish-German border as a major achievement.

The Peace Palace Library has a fair collection of Profesor Skubiszewski’s publications.

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