Professor James Crawford AC SC


It is with great sadness that Matrix announces the death of Professor James Crawford AC SC.

James was a founding member of Matrix and was an active and valued member. In February 2015 he left Matrix and was promoted to the judiciary of the International Court of Justice. James was widely recognised in the field of public international law and was a leader in the legal development of several areas of international law before the ICJ, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, as well as investor-state arbitral tribunals composed under the ICSID Convention or ad-hoc under the UNCITRAL rules. In addition to his work in this field, he was also Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. James had an illustrious career and his impact will continue to be felt in the legal community around the globe.

Prof. Philippe Sands commented:

“The world is a lesser place today, with the death of James Crawford. Extraordinary human being, fabulous lawyer, teacher, friend, mentor to many, one of the few to break the mould. Generous, funny, smart, warm, progressive, fair, as a thinker, advocate and judge he literally changed international law: you only have to think of his work on statehood, or responsibility, or international crimes – to realise how deep is the space he leaves, and how indelible is his legacy. Many will miss his intelligence, spirit and energy.”

Rachel Holmes, Chief Executive at Matrix, said:

“As a founding member of Matrix James was instrumental in helping to make change happen at the Bar and in setting standards that others have now risen to.  He was a warm and kind man with an incredible intellect, and acted as an inspiration to many.  His loss is felt keenly by us all.”

Our immediate thoughts are with his family at this time.