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Hans-Peter Gasser steps down as Editor of the Review

31-12-2001 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 844

The International Committee of the Red Cross bids farewell to Hans-Peter Gasser, Editor of the International Review of the Red Cross since 1996, who is now leaving the ICRC for a well-deserved retirement after a career of almost thirty years in its service.

Following law studies at the University of Zurich and Harvard Law School, he worked as Deputy Secretary-General of the Swiss Science Council. He joined the ICRC in 1970 and was posted for two years in the Middle East, first as a delegate and then as deputy head of delegation. In 1977 he was appointed head of the ICRC’s Legal Division and from 1983 to 1995 was senior legal advisor to the ICRC, responsible in particular for promoting ratification of the 1977 Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions. Alongside his professional duties, he has published various articles and given lectures at numerous universities. His exposé entitled International Humanitarian Law: An Introduction, which has been translated into several languages, has given countless students and practitioners their first insight into this branch of law.

Hans-Peter Gasser’s appointment as Editor of the Review was a good choice. His extensive experience and his personal contacts with many of the most eminent legal scholars have enabled him to obtain the views of experts throughout the world on subjects of current interest or concern and to make the Review the authoritative international humanitarian law journal that it is today. Under his management, it has also become an important forum for reflection on humanitarian policy and action. Issues of the Review on specific topics have addressed a wide range of subjects covering both major problems for humanitarian law and action and actual situations of past and present arm ed conflict, as evidenced by the impressive index for those published during his six years in office. He has thus accomplished to perfection the mission of the International Review of the Red Cross as defined inside the cover of each issue; indeed, he himself was largely instrumental in formulating that mission and has carried it out with competence and motivation.

On behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross, I wish to thank Hans-Peter Gasser most warmly for the valuable part he has played in promoting international humanitarian law and the ideals of the Red Cross.

 François Bugnion  

Director for International Law

and Communication