The Rebellious Scholar: In Honour of Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni

Author:Shadi A. Alshdaifat
e Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law
ISSN: 2338-7602; E-ISSN: 2338-770X
© 2018 e Institute for Migrant Rights Press
thE rEBEllious sCholar
in honour of professor mahmoud cherif
Shadi A. Alshdaifat
College of Law, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
“I have a sense of orderliness about things. Do the investigation rst,
see what the evidence is, and then indict. You don’t start by indicting
without getting the evidence,1
—Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, Foreign Policy, 2012.
Allow me to begin with one of my favourite quotes of all time by
Bassiouni, and regarding all lessons about the great power one must
exert to make change “I can place my little grain of sand and add to
that very thin veneer of civilization . . . I’m a very rm believer in the
incremental approach; things change because individuals move their little
grain of sand”.
It is a great pleasure to write an essay on ‘Bassiouni’, and I hope that
the readers will nd my words salutary in familiarizing them with the
life and accomplishments of the late rebellious scholar, MCB. Bassiouni
stands in my mind as the all-time favorite of his students, as well as
one of the greatest contemporary legal minds. Humbly, I met Professor
Bassiouni in 2010 when I was an SJD candidate in California. I met him
once, and asked him guide me and introduce me to certain articles of
1. Foreign Policy Interview with MCB (2012),
V Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law 281-302 (April 2018)
his,2 at that time; I was working on my dissertation “International Law
and the Use of Force against Terrorism”. 3
Going forward, the collection of data in this essay was taken from
Bassiouni’s own warm words and my personal experience; it is one of
my many bitter moments, yet great moments “in a way” to celebrate
in my own words the legacy of MCB. While I was preparing this essay,
I polled many of Bassiouni’s previous students for comments and
opinions, I must add my own opinion that he was truly a scholar and
mentor extraordinaire. Having said so, I am delighted, both personally
and on a professional level, to add my words to those of the many others
to celebrate Bassiouni’s life, accomplishments and career.
Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni (pronounced bass-ee-YOU-nee) was born
in Cairo on December 9, 1937. His father was an Egyptian diplomat,
and his grandfather—a president of the Egyptian senate—fought during
Egypt’s 1919 revolt against British occupation.4 Moreover, Bassiouni
married three times, rst, to Rosanna Cesari in 1962, who died while
they were in the process of separating. As well as, Nina Delmissier,
a marriage that ended because of her death in 2006. In addition to
Elaine Klemen-Bassiouni, who remained Bassiouni’s single w ife, with a
stepdaughter, Lisa Capitanini; and two grandchildren.
A so-spoken polyglot who was conversational in a half-dozen
2. Cherif Bassiouni, Assessing “Terrorism” into the New Millennium, 12 DP
B. L.J. 1 (1999-2000). Cherif Bassiouni,, Evolving Approaches to Jihad: From
Self-Defense to Revolutionary and Regime-Change Political Violence, 8 C. J.
I’ L. 142 (2007). Cherif Bassiouni, e Future of International Criminal Jus-
tice, 11 P J. I’ L. R. 309 (1999).
3. S A, I L   U  F 
T (2017).
4. As one may know that the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 eectively
ended Ottoman rule over Egypt, which had lasted since 1517. Bassiouni men-
tioned the revolt in his e Nationalization of the Suez Canal and the Illicit Act
in International Law, 14 DP L. R. 258 (1965). In this regard, see Charles
George Gordon, T J  M-G. G. G. G, C.B., (Amazon
Digital Publishing 2015) (1885).

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