CCR Mourns the Loss of International Human Rights Champion Prof. Cherif Bassiouni

September 25, 2017, New York – In response to the passing of Cherif Bassiouni, Emeritus Professor of Law at DePaul University, former United Nations official, and international law expert, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

Cherif Bassiouni was a giant in the field of international humanitarian and human rights law and an inspiration to hundreds of human rights lawyers and activists around the world. He had a long-standing connection to CCR's work, and we are deeply saddened by his passing. He developed an almost incomparable breadth of work that collectively sought to advance one overarching mission: promoting the humanity of all people in the world. 

Prof. Bassiouni’s tireless work in documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity, particularly systemic rape in Bosnia, advanced the claims of survivors brought in a CCR case, Doe v. Karadzic. He served as an international law expert in Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively, where he explained how persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity amounts to a crime against humanity in international law. Given his stature and the depth of his experience and expertise, his affirmation of SMUG’s central claim was enormously significant – for the litigation and beyond.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

September 26, 2017