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Vic Uni to confer honorary doctorate on Prof Roger Clark

28 February 2014

Victoria University to confer honorary doctorate on Professor Roger Clark

Pre–eminent public international law, human rights and criminal law scholar, Professor Roger Clark, is to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at Victoria University of Wellington’s May graduation.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says the honorary doctorate, conferred by the Victoria University Council, acknowledges Professor Clark’s exemplary commitment to teaching, international public service and research during his career.

“We are delighted to recognise Professor Clark for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession, both in New Zealand and the United States, with an honorary doctorate from Victoria,” says Professor Walsh.

The first member of his family to go to university, Professor Clark graduated from Victoria in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. He added a Master of Laws in 1967, and has since gained a further three degrees: a Doctor of Laws from Victoria in 1997, along with a Master of Laws and a Doctorate in Juridical Science from Columbia University in New York.

Professor Clark has written or edited 12 books, authored and co-authored more than 130 articles and book chapters, and played a significant role in international human rights law—especially in helping to establish the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“It is particularly exciting to be conferred an honorary doctorate from Victoria as it has been 50 years since my initial graduation, and I am now 50 years into my law teaching career,” says Professor Clark.

Professor Clark has taught at Rutgers University-Camden for over 40 years, where he insisted on the inclusion of a course on the international protection of human rights, an uncommon part of the law school curriculum in the United States at the time.

By the mid-1980s, his focus had shifted to teaching international criminal law, a topic also just beginning to be taught in law schools. He has helped to shape that discipline which is now taught at the majority of law schools across the United States and is the subject of specialty programmes worldwide.

In 1998, Professor Clark was named a Rutgers Board of Governors Professor. This honorary professorship is awarded by Rutgers University’s governing board to faculty members for substantial contributions to teaching and research.

Previously, Professor Clark taught at the Law Faculty at Victoria and worked for the New Zealand Justice Department and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, served as an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow and Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia University School of Law, interned at the United Nations and taught at the law school of the University of Iowa.


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