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Thomas M.Franck (1931–2009)

  • Rosalyn Higgins


Thomas M. Franck was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany. His family left only in 1938, securing entry to Vancouver, Canada. He arrived speaking German, but rapidly acquired proficiency in English and completed his schooling there.



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1 A phrase usefully employed by Benedict, Kingsbury Neo-Madisonian Global Constitutionalism: Thomas M. Franck’s Democratic Cosmopolitan Prospectus for Managing Diversity and World Order in the Twenty-first Century , 35 N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol. 291, 294 (2003).

2 Thomas, M. Franck Nation Against Nation: What Happened to the U.N. Dream and What the U.S. Can Do About it (1985).

3 Thomas, M. Franck Political Questions/Judicial Answers: Does the Rule of Law Apply to Foreign Affairs? (1992).

4 See note 17 infra.

5 Territorial Dispute (Libya/Chad), 1994 ICJ Rep. 6 (Feb. 3).

6 Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosn. & Herz. v. Yugo.), Preliminary Objections, 1996 ICJ Rep. 595 (July 11); Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosn. & Herz. v. Serb. & Mont.) (Int’l Ct. Justice Feb. 26, 2007).

7 Application of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995 (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia v. Greece) (filed Nov. 17, 2008).

8 Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indon./Malay.), Application by the Philippines for Permission to Intervene, 2001 ICJ Rep. 575 (Oct. 23); Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indon./ Malay.), 2002 ICJ Rep. 625 (Dec. 17).

9 Guyana/Suriname (UN Law of the Sea Annex VII Arb. Trib., Perm. Ct. Arb. Sept. 17, 2007).

10 Thomas, M. Franck Recourse to Force: State Action Against Threats and Armed Attacks (2002).

11 Simon, Chesterman Thomas, M. Franck & David, M. Malone Law and Practice of the United Nations: Documents and Commentary (2008). in 2008 there also appeared a new edition of his casebook Thomas, M. Franck Michael, J. Glennon & Sean, D. Murphy Foreign Relations and National Security Law (3d ed. 2008).

12 Thomas, M. Franck The International Judge and the Principled Imperative, in Weltinnenrecht: Liber Amicorum Jost Delbrück 267 (Klaus, Dicke ed., 2005); Thomas, M. Franck Legitimacy After Kosovo and Iraq, in International Law and the Use of Force at the Turn of the Centuries: Essays in Honour of V. D. Degan 69 (Crnić-Grotić, V. & Matulović, M. eds., 2005); Thomas, M. Franck Rethinking Collective Security, in International Law and Armed Conflict: Exploring the Faultlines: Essays in Honour of Yoram Dinstein 21 (Michael, N. Schmitt & Jelena, Pejic eds., 2007); Thomas, M. Franck The Centipede and the Centrifuge: Principles for the Centralisation and Decentralisation of Governance, in The Shifting Allocation of Authority in International Law: Considering Sovereignty, Supremacy and Subsidiarity: Essays in Honour of Professor Ruth Lapidoth 19 (Tomer, Broude & Yuval, Shany eds., 2008).

13 Franck, supra note 10.

14 David, Kennedy Tom Franck and the Manhattan School , 35 N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol. 397, 397 (2003).

15 Michael Reisman and Jonathan Charney were elected together as editors in chief of the Journal for a five-year term from 1998 to 2003, but after the premature death of Professor Charney in 2002, Professor Reisman completed the term on his own.

16 Thomas, M. Franck On Proportionality of Countermeasures in International Law , 102 AJIL 715 (2008).

17 Michael, J. Glennon & Thomas, M. Franck , United States Foreign Relations Law: Documents and Sources (1980); Thomas, M. Franck Nation Against Nation, supra note 2; Thomas, M. Franck Political Questions/Judicial Answers, supra note 3; Thomas, M. Franck Fairness in International Law and Institutions (1995).

18 The Canadian Council of International Law awarded him its Read Medal for an outstanding contribution to international law and organizations in 1994.

19 Thomas, M. Franck Of Gnats and Camels: Is There a Double Standard at the United Nations? 78 AJIL 811 (1984).

20 Franck, The Centipede and the Centrifuge, supra note 12.

21 Thomas, M. Franck & Clifford, A. Bob The Return of Humpty-Dumpty: Foreign Relations Law After the Chadha Case , 79 AJIL 912 (1985).

22 Thomas, M. Franck Who Killed Article 2(4)? or: ChangingNorms Governing the Use of Force by States , 64 AJIL 809 (1970). Franck revisited this question in his Agora contribution on the Iraq conflict, What Happens Now? The United Nations After Iraq , 97 AJIL 607 (2003).

23 On this, see Kennedy, supra note 14, at 406.

24 Martti, Koskenniemi Legal Cosmopolitanism: Tom Franck’sMessianic World , 35 N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol. 471, 484 (2003).

25 Franck, Fairness in International Law and Institutions, supra note 17.

26 Legitimacy was another subject on which Franck did innovative work. Thomas, M. Franck Legitimacy in the International System , 82 AJIL 705 (1988); Thomas, M. Franck The Power of Legitimacy Among Nations (1990).

27 See Thomas, M. Franck The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance , 86 AJIL 46 (1992).

28 Franck, Fairness in International Law and Institutions, supra note 17, at 16-18.

29 See the sometimes stringent analysis of his writings made by certain of the contributors to the 2002 conference in his honor held at New York University, International Law andJustice in the Twenty-first Century: The Enduring Contributions of Thomas M. Franck , 35 N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol. 291 (2003).

30 Thomas, M. Franck Remarks, in In What Sense Is International Law Law? (Mar. 26, 2009), available athtup-.lI (transcript). The panel can also be ordered in audio form from the ASIL Web site.

* Of the Board of Editors.

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Thomas M.Franck (1931–2009)

  • Rosalyn Higgins


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