IADL mourns Gerhard Stuby (secretary general and vice-president)

Gerhard Stuby passed away on August 24, 2020. Growing up in Saarbrücken, Stuby was raised in an upper-class family, and he studied law, Catholic theology and philosophy in Trier, Munich and Genoble. He wrote his thesis on “Law and Solidarity in the thinking of Albert Camus” (“Denken und Solidarität im Denken von Albert Camus”) at the University of Freiburg in 1963.

Stuby’s topic choice exemplifies the path the future professor would follow. Starting as assistant professor at the University of Marburg, he continued at the newly constituted University of Bremen – at the advice of Wolfgang Abendroth – until his retirement during the winter-term 1999/2000 as a professor for public law and academic policy.

During his role as Vice-Chancellor from 1974-1976, Stuby was lauded for introducing single-stage legal education at the University of Bremen.

In addition to his thesis, Stuby’s academic work focused on interdisciplinary studies, weaving together history, law, jurisprudence, and constitutional and international law.

In 1994, Nomos Verlag published Stuby’s and Norman Paech’s  handbook on “International Law and the Power Policy in International Relations” (Lehrbuch” Völkerrecht und die Machtpolitk in den internationalen Beziehungen”). The second edition was published in 2008 and the third edition was published in 2013 by VSA Verlag.

This handbook did not follow the mainstream, but criticized legal theories, particularly so-called “humanitarian intervention.”

Since its creation, Stuby was co-editor of “ Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik.”

But Stuby was not confined in a scientific ivory tower. He was strongly committed to fighting the “Radikalenerlass” and the  “Berufsverbote.”  And together with other lawyers, he established the German Association of Democratic Lawyers and served as its chairperson from 1972 through 1976.

Stuby was elected secretary general and later, vice-president, of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. In those capacities, he was deeply involved and engaged in various missions on issues of  protecting human rights and the right to self-determination in Chile, El Salvador, Iraq, Mexico, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Western Sahara and Palestine.

All of these tasks Gerhard Stuby managed with great intellectual energy, subtle sensitivity, and a fine touch of humor. He never lost sight of the  importance of the responsibility lawyers have in society, the rule of law, and in achieving peace.

Gerhard Stuby, who was an extraordinary lawyer, will be missed by his colleagues, his friends and his family.