College of Law > Faculty & Staff > Full-time Faculty > M. Cherif Bassiouni

M. Cherif Bassiouni

DePaul Law Professor M. Cherif Bassionuni
Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Law; President Emeritus, International Human Rights Law Institute

M. Cherif Bassiouni was an emeritus professor law at DePaul University, where he taught since 1964, and president emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute, which he helped found in 1990. He was one of the founders in 1972 of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, Siracusa, Italy, and served as its president for over 25 years. He was the honorary president of the International Association of Penal Law after having served three terms as president from 1989 to 2004. He was a guest scholar at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, in 1972; visiting professor of law at New York University Law School in 1971; Fulbright-Hays Professor of International Criminal Law at the University of Freiburg, Germany in 1970; non-resident professor of criminal law at the University of Cairo from 1996 to 2006; and was​ a frequent lecturer at universities in the United States and abroad.

His legal education was in Egypt, France, Switzerland and the United States where he received the following degrees: LLB University of Cairo; JD Indiana University; LLM John Marshall Law School; SJD George Washington University. In addition, he received several honorary degrees from the University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium (Doctor of Law honors causa) (2011); Case Western Reserve University, USA (LLD) (2010); Catholic Theological Union, USA (Doctor of Humane Letters) (2009); National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland (LLD) (2001); Niagara University, USA (LLD) (1997); Docteur dEtat en Droit honoris causa, University of Pau, France (1986); and Dottore in Giurisprudenza honoris causa, University of Torino, Italy (1981).

He is the author of 24 and editor of 43 books on international criminal law, comparative criminal law, human rights, and U.S. criminal law; and the author of 265 articles published in law journals and books in the United States and other countries. These publications have been written in Arabic, English, French, Italian and Spanish. Some of them have been cited by the International Court of Justice; the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY); the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); the United States Supreme Court; U.S. circuit and federal district courts; and various state supreme courts. Several of his works have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

He served as chair of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry established pursuant to Royal Order of the King of Bahrain (June 29, 2011), and since 1975, he served in the following United Nations positions: chair, then member of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Libya (2011); independent expert, Commission on Human Rights in Afghanistan, (2004-2006); independent expert on the Rights to Restitution, Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1998-2000); chairman, Drafting Committee, United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1998); vice chairman, General Assembly's Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1996-98); vice chairman, General Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1995); chairman of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council 780 (1992) to Investigate Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Former Yugoslavia (1993-1994), and the Commission's Special Rapporteur on Gathering and Analysis of the Facts (1992-1993); consultant to the Sixth and Seventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention (1980 and 1985); consultant to the Committee on Southern African, Commission on Human Rights (1980-1981); co-chairman of the Independent Committee of Experts on Drafting the Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture (1978); honorary vice president, Fifth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention (1975).

He also served, between 1973 and 1980, as a consultant to the U.S. Departments of State and Justice on projects relating to international traffic in drugs (1973) and international control of terrorism (1975 and 1978-1979) and as a consultant to the Department of State on the defense of the U.S. hostages in Iran (1979-1980).

Among the distinctions and awards he received are: a ​nomination for the Nobel Peace Price (1999); Special Award of the Council of Europe (1990); the Adlai Stevenson Award of the United Nations Association (1993); Defender of Democracy Award, Parliamentarians for Global Action (1998); the Saint Vincent DePaul Humanitarian Award (DePaul University 2000); the Hague Prize for International Law (2007); the Via Sapientiae Award (DePaul University 2009); the World Peace Through Law Award (Washington University School of Law 2009); George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award (2010-2011); Bradford O'Neill Medallion for Social Justice, Dominican University (2011).

He received the following medals from Austria, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy and the United States: Order of Merit of the Republic, Italy (Cavaliere di Gran Croce) (2006); Ordre des Palmes Acadmiques, Republic of France (Commander) (2006); Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Federal Republic of Germany (2003); Legion dHonneur (Officier), France (2003); Order of Lincoln, Illinois, USA (2001); Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Austrian Republic (1990); Order of Scientific Merit (First Class), Egypt (1984); Order of Merit of the Republic, Italy (GrandUfficiale) (1977); Order of Merit of the Republic, Italy, (Commendatore) (1976); Order of Military Valor, Egypt (1956).


JD, Indiana University; LLB, University of Cairo; LLM (International and Maritime Law), The John Marshall Law School; SJD (International Criminal Law), George Washington University; Doctor of Law, honoris causa, University of Torino (Italy), University of Pau (France), Niagara University (U.S.A.) and National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)

Selected Works