Five Masters of International Law*: An Example of the Interview Method

March 27, 2012


         Some years ago, when I was teaching  Research Methods in International Law Professor Reisman strongly suggested  that we should have a session on interview technique. Unfortunately, this did not happen as it was outside my education and expertise.

 Now,  Justice Antonio Cassese, who recently died of cancer in October, 2011,    has published a book aptly using this method to interview five distinguished international jurists and lawyers. Justice Cassese’s wide ranging experience has allowed him access to these renowned individuals. Professor Cassese was not only a Professor of International Law at the University of Florence (retired 2008), but he served as judge (1993-2000) and President (1993-1997) of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Chairman of Inquiry into  Crimes in Darfur, Independent Expert appointed by the UN Secretary-General to review the efficiency of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and most recently (2009-October, 2011)Judge and President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. He has authored numerous books, which are held by the Yale Law Library.

 By employing the questionnaire which he has included in the volume, he interviewed Renè-Jean Dupuy of France  , Eduardo Jiménez de Aréchaga  of Uruguay, Sir Robert Jennings of Great Britain, and Louis Henkin  , and Oscar Schachter of the United States between 1993 and 1995  . He explored their education and early practice, their understanding of international law, especially as it relates to positivism, their relationships with other international legal jurists, and their understanding of the international community, as well as asking them some personal questions. Of special note to Yale readers are the occasional references to Professor Myres McDougal and the New Haven School of International Law in the interviews.

 In addition to the conclusion, Justice Cassese includes an index of names, as well as a general index.

 Five Masters of International Law: Conversations with R-J Dupuy, E Jiménez de Aréchaga, R. Jennings, and L. Henkin, O. Schachter, by Antonio Cassese, Oxford: Hart, 2011.


 Daniel L. Wade


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