I am very sorry to report the shocking news, that many have already seen on Twitter, that Håkan Friman has passed away, much too young.
Anyone involved in international criminal justice surely knows Håkan’s name, and more likely than not, knew Håkan personally. In addition to his many many academic publications on international criminal law (including the well-known Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure by him, Robert Cryer, Darryl Robinson, and Elizabeth Wilmshurst), Håkan was a Judge on the Solna District Court in Sweden, and also held several academic appointments along the way. Håkan also had a distinguished career with Sweden’s ministry of justice and was a key member of Sweden’s ICC delegation to the Rome Diplomatic Conference, where it all began. He was a mainstay of academic conferences on multiple continents. I hosted him at Cornell once for my course called the Jurisprudence of War, where he led a masterful session on the crime of aggression and the Kampala amendments. On more than one occasion, his name came up in conversations I had with others when we discussed ideal candidates to be a judge on the ICC some day.
More importantly, Håkan was an absolute gentleman to every person in the profession. It didn’t matter whether you were the most junior of doctoral researchers or the most senior jurist at an international tribunal. He was equally kind and generous to everyone.
He will be missed.
UPDATE: The International Criminal Court has issued this statement:
It is with great sadness that the International Criminal Court learnt of the sudden passing of Senior Judge Håkan Friman, Head of Division at Solna District Court (Sweden) on Monday, 17 October 2016.
As a former member of the Swedish Delegation on the ICC, a magistrate and the author of many international criminal law publications, Mr Friman made an invaluable and lasting contribution to international criminal justice. Mr Friman had a prominent role in the drafting and adoption of the Rome Statute, as well as in the development of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and Regulations of the Court. He was also called upon on numerous occasions in an expert capacity to assist in initiatives to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Court’s operations. His commitment, expertise and warm personality earned him countless friends in the field of international criminal justice.
The Court presents its sincere condolences to Håkan Friman’s family and friends in these difficult moments.