In-Memoriam: Professor Ved Prakash Nanda
The American Branch is sad to announce the passing of Professor Ved Prakash Nanda, widely acclaimed international law scholar, fierce protector of human rights, and vital member of the American Branch. Professor Nanda passed away on Monday, January 1, 2024.
Professor Nanda was involved with the American Branch for decades, including roles as a member of the Executive Committee, the Vice-President, David Dudley Field Patron, a recipient of the 2023 Charles Siegal Distinguished Service Award, and as an Honorary Vice President until his passing. He was also the co-editor of the International Practitioner’s Notebook, an American Branch publication previously published quarterly.
Professor Nanda earned his B.A. and M.A. from Punjab University, India, his LL.B and LL.M from Delhi University, India, an LL.M from Northwestern University, Chicago, and has been awarded two honorary doctorates from Soka University, Japan, and Bundelkhand University, India. Professor Nanda has taught international law at over a dozen schools globally, including the University of Oxford, California Western School of Law, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Trinity College, Dublin. His professorial home was Strum College of Law, University of Denver, where he founded the International Legal Studies Program in 1972 and was the Director of the eponymous Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law. His final title at the University of Denver was as a Distinguished University Professor and Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law, where he received several faculty awards, acted as a Faculty Adviser to the Denver University Law Review and the Denver Law Forum, and since 1991, regularly wrote an international affairs column for The Denver Post.
Professor Nanda authored or co-authored 24 books and over 225 chapters and law review articles in international and comparative law, and received more than 50 awards over his career. Some of his many publications include International Environmental Law & Policy for the 21st Century (Brill Publishers, 2012 with George W. Pring) and Law in the War on International Terrorism (2005, Transnational Publishers). In 2018, he received the Padma Bhusan award, the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India, for his work in the field of literature and education. He previously served as the President of the World Jurist Association, Director of the American Society of Comparative Law, and President of the World Association of Law Professors, and held a variety of advisory roles. With several awards established thanks to the work of Professor Nanda, his remarkable legacy will live on.
From our President, Michael P. Scharf: “Over thirty years, I spent many wonderful times with Ved and his wife Katherine, in Denver, Cleveland, DC, New York, and abroad. Ved was a warm, humorous, and supportive friend and colleague as well as a mentor and an inspiration to a generation of international law professors and practitioners, including Brenda Hollis who went on to be the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Prosecutor of the Cambodia genocide tribunal. Ved was an acclaimed scholar, human rights advocate, and institutional builder — culminating in the establishment of the International Law Center at Denver University that bears his name. The ABILA was one of his favorite organizations, and we were happy that his lifetime contributions and leadership were honored last fall when Ved received the ABILA’s Charles Siegel Service Award.”
From our Chair, Leila Nadya Sadat: “Ved was one of the most thoughtful and brilliant international law scholars of his generation. At the same time, he was also kind and humble. I first met him during the Rome Diplomatic Conference, attending as a very junior scholar, and we immediately became fast friends. He was a stalwart member of the American Branch, never missing a meeting, and always contributing to our activities. His passing is a great loss personally, to the Branch, and to the entire international community. He will be greatly missed.”
From our Honorary Vice-President, James A. R. Nafziger: “I’ll miss him greatly, having first met him not long after I emerged into the profession after law school and a federal clerkship. He memorably took me under his wing, where I remained as a close friend and collaborator ever after. (I called him “Commander-in-Chief”–and what a gentle but effective one he was!–and he called me “General”). I hope all of us will remember him not only for his enormous, steadily flowing contributions to the development and advancement of international law, but also for his joie de vivre and kindness.”