Stephen McCaffrey Receives the Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy

The 2018 Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy was conferred to Professor Stephen McCaffrey on 24 May during a ceremony in New York City presided over by Pace University President Marvin Krislov.

EH Award to Stephen McCaffrey

Professor Stephen McCaffrey received the Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy on 24 May 2018. The ceremony was held at the Century Association in New York City during a dinner hosted by WCEL and the International Council of Enviromental Law (ICEL) to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the International Law Commission of the United Nations (ILC). With this award, Pace University's Elisabeth Haub School of Law, in collaboration with ICEL and WCEL, recognizes Professor McCaffrey's life-time service in the development of international environmental law, and in particular for his work as special rapporteur for the ILC on the topic that became the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.

In addition to Stephen McCaffrey, speakers during the ceremony included:

  • Horace E. Anderson, Jr. (Dean, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University);
  • H.E. Luis Almagro Lemes (Secretary General, Orgaization of American States);
  • Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin (Member, National High Court of Brazil - STJ and WCEL Chair);
  • Marvin Krislov (President, Pace University);
  • Jason J. Czarnezki (Associate Dean, Elizabeth Haub School of Law);
  • Profesor Nicholas A. Robinson (Executive Governor, ICEL);
  • Professor Nilufer Oral (Bureau Chair, ICEL and Member, International Law Commission); and
  • Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (Chair, International Law Commission).

Professor McCaffrey served on the ILC for ten years from 1982-1991. He was special rapporteur for its work on international watercourses beginning in 1985 until provisional adoption of the ILC’s draft articles in 1991 that eventually formed the basis for the 1997 United Nations Convention. The Convention entered into force on 17 August 2014 and is the world's first treaty open to all countries to protect the ecology of international rivers and lakes. McCaffrey has observed that: “It is essential, in the era of climate change and the associated uncertainties concerning the sharing by countries of freshwater resources, that there be a stable and universally accepted legal framework governing the relations between riparian States. The UN Watercourses Convention provides such a framework, helping to ensure sustainable management of Earth’s freshwater resources to preserve them for future generations.”

McCaffrey is currently Distinguished Professor of Law at McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in California. He is one of the world's foremost respected authorities on international water law and was named 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. He joins eminent past Laureates of the Award such as Russel Train (USA), Klaus Töpfer (Germany), Mohamed Sahnoun (Algeria), Hilario Davide, Jr., (Philippines),  Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qasimi (UAE), and Macharia Kamau (Kenya).

The Dean of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Professor Horace Anderson, said: “Protecting the waters that flow across borders is a cause all nations support. We are honored to join with the family of Elisabeth Haub in applauding the Members of the UN International Law Commission, and our fellow law professor Stephen McCaffrey, on their singular accomplishments in developing international environmental law.”

The Distinguished Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy recognizes the innovation, skill, and accomplishments of lawyers, diplomats, international civil servants, and other negotiators who work to create the world environmental order. Christina Figueres (Costa Rica), who served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010, is the next recipient of the Award to be conveyed in a ceremony scheduled for 24 September 2018 in New York City.

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