James Crawford (jurist)

International Court of Justice Category:CS1 maint: archived copy as title University of Cambridge

James Crawford

Judge of the International Court of Justice
Assumed office
Preceded byKenneth Keith
Whewell Professor of International Law
University of Cambridge
In office
Preceded bySir Derek Bowett
Personal details
Born (1948-11-14) 14 November 1948 (age 71)
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide (BA, LLB)
University of Oxford (DPhil)

James Richard Crawford, AC, SC, FBA (born 14 November 1948)[1] is an Australian academic and practitioner in the field of public international law. He was elected as Judge of the International Court of Justice for a full term of 9 years in November 2014 and took his seat on the court in February 2015.[2] From 1990 to 1992 Crawford was Dean of the Sydney Law School where he was also the Challis Professor of International Law from 1986 to 1992. From 1992 to 2014, he was Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge and Fellow in Law at Jesus College, Cambridge.[3] He was formerly Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, also at Cambridge.[4]

Early life and education

Born in Adelaide in South Australia in 1948, Crawford attended Brighton Secondary School and the University of Adelaide as an undergraduate, receiving his Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours in 1971 and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English history and politics) in the same year. During his time at the University of Adelaide, he first came in contact with international law, with the undergraduate course in the subject taught by D. P. O'Connell, who was later to be appointed Chichele Professor of International Law at the University of Oxford. Crawford later followed O'Connell to Oxford, was accepted to University College and completed his doctorate on the creation of states in international law under the supervision of Ian Brownlie, graduating in 1977.


Academic career

From Oxford, Crawford returned to the University of Adelaide in 1977, lecturing in international law and constitutional law, and was awarded a personal chair in 1983. In 1982, he accepted a position at the Australian Law Reform Commission and served until 1984, where he produced a series of reports on subjects such as the recognition of aboriginal customary law, sovereign immunity, and the reform, patriation and federalisation of Admiralty Law and jurisdiction. He remained in Adelaide until 1986, when he was appointed to the Challis Professorship of International Law at the University of Sydney. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1990 to 1992.

In 1985 Crawford was elected an associate of the Institut de Droit International (the youngest election in modern times) and was elevated to full membership in 1991.

In 1992, Crawford was elected to the Whewell Professorship of International Law at the University of Cambridge. In a nice piece of symmetry, his opposite number as Chichele Professor at Oxford was his DPhil supervisor Ian Brownlie. In that year, Crawford was also elected to membership of the United Nations International Law Commission ("ILC"). He served as Special Rapporteur on State Responsibility from 1997–2001 and was also responsible for the production of the ILC's Draft Statute for an International Criminal Court.

In 1996, Crawford assumed directorship of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge, serving from 1997–2003 and again from 2006–2010. Since 2003 he has been a member of the Curatorium of The Hague Academy of International Law and is scheduled to give the General Course in 2013.

Professional career

Crawford was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia in 1977, and was called to the New South Wales bar in 1987. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 1997.

Following his move to Cambridge, Crawford was admitted to the English bar in 1999 as a member of Gray's Inn, and was a foundation member of Matrix Chambers.

Crawford has built a substantial international practice. He has been engaged as counsel in 23 cases before the International Court of Justice ('ICJ'), including the contested cases of East Timor (Australia v Portugal),[5] Case concerning the Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v United States of America,[6] Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Barrage System (Hungary v Slovakia),[7] Case concerning Pulau Batu Puteh (Malaysia v Singapore)[8] and Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v Ukraine).[9] He has also appeared as counsel for various interested parties in the following advisory opinions of the ICJ: Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons,[10] Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory[11] and Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo.[12]

In addition to his appearances before the ICJ, Crawford has also appeared before a wide range of other international courts and tribunals. He was counsel for Australia before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the ad hoc tribunal convened under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Southern Bluefin Tuna cases,[13] was counsel for Eritrea before the Eritrea/Ethiopia Boundary Commission[14] and counsel for Sudan in the Abyei Dispute to determine whether Abyei was to form part of north Sudan or the area that was in 2011 to become South Sudan.[15] He was also counsel for China before the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization in the United States - Definitive Anti-Dumping case.[16]

Crawford has also developed a substantial practice as an international arbitrator, and has developed a particular reputation in investor state disputes run by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes ('ICSID') and in matters pertaining to the law of the sea, especially maritime boundary delimitation. Significant disputes in which Crawford has sat as arbitrator include Larsen v Hawaiian Kingdom,[17] Newfoundland/Nova Scotia Maritime Boundary Arbitration,[18] Vivendi Universal v Argentina,[19] Mondev International v United States of America,[20] Yaung Chi Oo v Myanmar,[21] SGS v Philippines,[22] and the MOX Plant[23] arbitration.

In October 2012, Crawford was nominated for election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice, with the support of the Australian Government.[24][25] In November 2014, he was elected as an ICJ judge with an absolute majority of votes from the UN General Assembly and Security Council, and commenced his term in 2015.[26]


Crawford was made a Doctor of Laws by the University of Cambridge in 2003. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, the University of Amsterdam and his alma mater Adelaide University.[27] He was awarded the Nessim Habif World Prize by the University of Geneva in 2010, and the Hudson Medal by the American Society for International Law and the Adelaide University Distinguished Alumni Award, respectively, in 2012.

In 2000, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).

Crawford was made a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia on 10 June 2013.[28]



In addition, Crawford has since 1994 been the editor of the British Yearbook of International Law, and senior editor since the retirement of Ian Brownlie from Oxford in 2000. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law and the ICSID Reports. From 2002-2005 he was a member of the Editorial Panel of the World Trade Review. Since 2004, he has been a member of the Board of Editors for the American Journal of International Law. He has published peer-refereed journal articles in, inter alia, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, the American Journal of International Law, the British Yearbook of International Law and other significant international law journals. He is Senior Treasurer of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law.




  1. ^ Affidavit of James Crawford, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 14 April 2003.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Eyal Benvenisti elected to Whewell Professorship". Faculty of Law. University of Cambridge. 25 May 2015. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  4. ^ Who's Who in Public International Law 2007 (Crestwall Ltd, 2007)
  5. ^ ICJ Reports 1995 p 90
  6. ^ ICJ Reports 1996 p 103
  7. ^ ICJ Reports 1997 p 7
  8. ^ ICJ Reports 2008 p 12
  9. ^ ICJ Reports 2009 p 61
  10. ^ ICJ Reports 1996 p 226
  11. ^ ICJ Reports 2004 p 136
  12. ^ Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ (1999) 117 ILR 148; (2000) 119 ILR 508
  14. ^ 41 ILM 1057
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds379_e.htm
  17. ^ (2001) 119 ILR 566
  18. ^ (2001) 128 ILR 453; (2002) 128 ILR 504
  19. ^ (2002) 125 ILR 43; 6 ICSID Reports 330
  20. ^ (2002) 125 ILR 98; 6 ICSID Reports 192
  21. ^ (2003) 42 ILM 540
  22. ^ (2004) 129 ILR 444; 8 ICSID Reports 515
  23. ^ (2003) 126 ILR 310
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ http://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2012/bc_mr_121030.html
  26. ^ "Australian James Crawford elected judge of International Court of Justice in The Hague". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  27. ^ http://acil.uva.nl/events/content/events/2014/01/honorary-doctorate-for-professor-james-crawford.html
  28. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2013". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.