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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Immigrants Of The Day: Isabel Toledo of Cuba, Jason Wu of Taiwan, Thomas Buergenthal of Czechoslovakia, and Theodor Meron of Poland

by Kevin R. Johnson

Isabel Toledo (Cuba) and Jason Wu (Taiwan)

Our Immigrants of the Day had their days in the sun yesterday at the grand Presidential inauguration. Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu designed Michelle Obama's daytime inaugural wear and nighttime ball gown.

Toledo, a Cuban-born fashion designer based in New York, designed a gold yellow brocade shift dress with matching overcoat for First Lady Michelle Obama at the inauguration. Wu designed Michelle Obama's one-shoulder white chiffon evening gown.  Huffington Post has a slideshow of Michelle Obama's inaugural outfits.

For IntLawGrrl Diane Marie Amann's adventures at the inauguration, see the IntLawGrrls blog.

January 21, 2009 | Permalink

Thomas Buergenthal (Czechoslovakia)

Buergen Thomas Buergenthal (born 1934 in Lubochna, Czechoslovakia, today Slovakia) serves on the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, and is the Lobingier Professor Emeritus of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at George Washington University Law School.  The World Court is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

Buergenthal was nominated to the Court by the United States and elected by the U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council.

Judge Buergenthal came to the United States at the age of 17. He spent the first 11 years of his life in various German camps and is one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. He graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia and New York University Law School. He received his LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in International Law from Harvard University. Considered one of the world’s leading international human rights experts, Judge Buergenthal served as judge and later president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He was the first American member of the U.N. Human Rights Committee and a member of the three-member U.N. Truth Commission for El Salvador. He served as vice chairman of the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland and was a judge as well as president of the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development Bank. He also chaired the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Judge Buergenthal’s long academic career includes service as dean of Washington College of Law of the American University and endowed professorships at the University of Texas and Emory University, where he was also the director of the Human Rights Program of the Carter Center. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books and numerous articles in scholarly journals, and serves on the editorial boards of various legal journals as well as the Encyclopedia of Public International Law.

Among Judge Buergenthal’s many prizes and awards is the prestigious Manley O. Hudson Medal of the American Society of International Law, the Society’s highest award. His honorary degrees include doctorates from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, the State University of New York, the American University, and the University of Minnesota. He is the honorary president of the American Society of International Law and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica.

January 19, 2009 | Permalink

Theodor Meron (Poland)

756860040 Theodor Meron (born 1930) was the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) until 2005, and was a judge in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He now serves as a judge on the Appeal Chamber of the ICTY.

Born in Kalisz, Poland, Theodor Meron received his education at the Hebrew University, Harvard Law School, and Cambridge University . Since 1977, he has been a Professor of International Law and, since 1994, the holder of the Charles L. Denison Chair at New York University School of Law. In 2000-2001, he served as Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State.

Judge Theodor Meron joined the Tribunal in November 2001. Immediately assigned to the Appeals Chamber, Judge Meron has heard numerous cases from both the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In February 2003, his fellow judges elected him President of the ICTY, and he remained in that position until November 2005. Since then he has continued to serve as a judge in the ICTY Appeals Chamber.

Meron also has been Professor of international law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard and at the University of California, Berkeley.

A leading scholar of international humanitarian, human rights, and international criminal law, Judge Meron wrote some of the books and articles that helped build the legal foundations for international criminal tribunals. He was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law (1993-98) and is now an honorary editor. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. Judge Meron is a member of a number of distinguished professional bodies and associations, including the Institute of International Law (since 1997) and the US Council on Foreign Relations. He has served on the advisory committees or boards of several human rights organisations, including Americas Watch and the International League for Human Rights. He participated in the preparatory commission and the 1998 Rome Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (ICC). Judge Meron has served on several committees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and he leads the annual ICRC seminars for U.N. diplomats on international humanitarian law at NYU. He received the 2005 Rule of Law Award of the International Bar Association, the Hudson Medal of the American Society of International Law for extraordinary contributions to international law and has been selected for the 2008 Haskins prize awarded by the American Council of Learned Societies to a distinguished humanist. In 2007 he received the Legion of Honour from France.

January 18, 2009 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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