Remembering the Legacy of John Washburn
It is with great sadness that the ABILA International Criminal Court Committee announces the passing of John L Washburn on July 13, 2022.
John Washburn was a luminary in the field of international law, particularly dedicated to the International Criminal Court and advancing Americans’ understanding of the Court as well as the official U.S. position on the Court.
John was a career Foreign Service officer, who had postings in India, Iran, and Indonesia as well as the U.S. State Department. John served on the Iran Hostage Task Force in 1979, and from 1985-87, was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. From 1988-93, he was Director in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, serving under Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
He served as a founding member of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), and participated in the 1998 Rome Conference, chairing negotiations on gender crimes. He later founded the American Coalition for the ICC (AMICC) and the Washington Working Group on the ICC (WICC), which he co-chaired.
Among other publications, he co-authored the book “Negotiating the International Criminal Court: New York to Rome, 1994-1998,” with co-authors Fanny Benedetti and Karine Bonneau.
He was a member of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative Advisory Council, a project of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis to establish the world’s first treaty on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity.
John was a gracious, warm-hearted person, always giving of his time and eager to mentor the next generation. He leaves a rich legacy of academics and civil society representatives throughout America inspired by him to continue his work.
Jennifer Trahan & Megan A. Fairlie
ABILA ICC Committee, co-chairs
Leila Nadya Sadat
President of ABILA and past chair, ICC Committee