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Professor Stephen McCaffrey

McGeorge's Stephen McCaffrey receives the 2018 Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy for his lifetime of service in the development of international environmental law.

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Pacific News

McGeorge’s McCaffrey receives prestigious award for lifetime service

May 25, 2018

The 2018 Distinguished Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy was conferred upon McGeorge School of Law's Distinguished Professor of Law Stephen McCaffrey  by Pace University President Marvin Krislov at a May 24 ceremony.

McCaffrey was chosen as the 2018 Laureate both for his lifetime of service in the development of international environmental law, and in particular for his work as special rapporteur for the International Law Commission on the preparatory work for what became the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International WatercoursesThe award is bestowed by Pace University's Elisabeth Haub School of Law (Pace Law).

"We are very excited that, for the second time in two years, Professor McCaffrey is being recognized as the international law superstar that he is," said McGeorge Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz.

McCaffrey is one of the world's foremost respected authorities on international water law. He was named 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. On the McGeorge faculty since 1977, his work continues to influence scholars, legal practitioners and policymakers and contribute to the sustainable and peaceful management of shared waters.

By recognizing McCaffrey, Pace Law is recognizing his work to forge the world's first treaty open to all countries to protect the ecology of international rivers and lakes. This binding agreement is the product of many years of careful negotiation through the International Law Commission of the United Nations. The ILC was established under the UN Charter in 1947 to codify and advance international law. It is celebrating its 70th anniversary in New York, with meetings held for the first time at UN headquarters. The ILC customarily convenes in Geneva, Switzerland.

"I am deeply honored to be named the 2018 Laureate of the prestigious Elizabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law," said McCaffrey. "It is a delight to be able to pass along my passion about these fields to my students."

McCaffrey served on the ILC for 10 years during President Reagan's and George H.W. Bush's terms, and was the ILC's special rapporteur for its work on international watercourses. The ILC's work led to the adoption of the UN Watercourses Convention, a treaty that calls for all nations sharing fresh water to protect environmental resources upon which all depend.

This year's award ceremony is also a recognition of the seven decades of positive accomplishments by the ILC. Pace Law joins with the International Council of Environmental Law and the World Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in honoring the members of the ILC.

"Protecting the waters that flow across borders is a cause all nations support," said Horace Anderson, dean of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law. "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."

"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," McCaffrey said. "The UN Watercourses Convention provides such a framework, helping to ensure sustainable management of Earth's freshwater resources to preserve them for future generations."

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. Past recipients include Ambassador Luis Alberto Figueiredo Machado from Brazil, Macharia Kamau from Kenya, Mohamed Sahnoun from Algeria, Hilario Davide Jr. from the Philippines and Klaus Topfer from Germany.

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