M. Cherif Bassiouni


McKinney School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award (2000)


M. Cherif Bassiouni is an Egyptian international United Nations war crimes expert, a Distinguished Research Professor of Law Emeritus and President Emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Due to his work with international law, he is often known as "the Godfather of International Criminal Law".

Bassouni holds degrees from University of Cairo, Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, the John Marshall School, and George Washington University. He joined the faculty at DePaul University in 1964 and its International Human Rights Institute in 1990. Bassouni has been a non-resident Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Cairo since 1996, and was a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC in 1972. In addition, he was also a Visiting Professor of Law at New York University Law School in 1971, and was a Fulbright-Hays Professor of International Criminal Law at the University of Freiburg, Germany in 1970. Due to his achievements in international law, Bassouni is often in demand to be a guest lecturuer at universities in the US and abroad.

He also is president of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences in Siracusa, Italy, and honorary president of the International Association of Penal Law in Paris, France. Bassiouni has served the United Nations in a number of capacities, including as co-chair of the Committee of Experts to draft the Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture (1977); member, then chairman, of the Security Council's Commission to Investigate War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia (1992-1994); vice-chairman of the General Assembly's Ad Hoc and Preparatory Committees on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1995 and 1998); chairman of the Drafting Committee of the 1998 Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court; independent expert for the Commission on Human Rights on The Rights to Restitution, Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1998-2000); and independent expert for the Commission on Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan (2004-2006). In 1999, Bassiouni was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the field of international criminal justice and for his contribution to the creation of the International Criminal Court.

Bassiouni is the author of 32 and editor of 47 books, and the author of 241 articles on a wide range of legal issues, including international criminal law, comparative criminal law and international human rights law. His publications have been published in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Georgian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Several of his publications have been cited by the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the U.S. Supreme Court, and a number of state supreme, U.S. appellate and federal district courts.