Oscar Schachter, Pioneer in International Law, Dies at 88

December 15, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ Oscar Schachter, a pioneer of international law who helped create the legal framework used by the United Nations, has died. He was 88.

Schachter died Saturday night, according to the Columbia University Law School, where he had been teaching from 1975 through the spring semester of this year. There was no information on the cause of death.

Schachter, who graduated from Columbia Law School at the head of his class in 1939, worked in the United Nations' legal department from 1946 to 1966, before moving on to become deputy executive director of the U.N. Institute for Training and Research from 1966 until 1975.

In a statement, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said, "Professor Schachter did more than any other official in the United Nations to help shape the rule of law and was the architect of the legal framework which has guided United Nations peacekeeping for more than 50 years."

In an e-mail sent to faculty and staff at the law school, Dean David Leebron wrote that Schachter "was a towering scholar of international law, revered for his intellect, humor and gentle spirit both in the academy and in the world of international relations practice and law."