Emeritus adj (from verb) to earn, deserve, serve
When Henry Steiner '55 and Detlev Vagts '51 published the first edition of "Transnational Legal Problems" in 1968, the collaboration marked a milestone in the field of international law. The casebook, currently in its fourth edition, is widely regarded as the leading compendium of materials for scholars and students in the field. "Together, [Steiner and Vagts] exemplify a commitment they placed on the first page of their joint casebook and reiterated in every edition thereafter," said Professor David Kennedy '80 in a recent testimonial: "'The inescapable decision in the contemporary world is to participate in the life of the international community.'"
Steiner's focus has been predominantly on human rights, and a huge part of his continuing legacy will be the law school's Human Rights Program, which he founded. Vagts, too, has been an outspoken proponent of human rights, but he is also one of the world's foremost experts on transnational business problems and the laws affecting international commerce.
This summer, the two colleagues shared another milestone: retirement from the Harvard Law School faculty. In tribute to these teachers, who served on the faculty for a combined 89 years, the Bulletin asked two of their former students and protégés for summations of these two extraordinary careers.
Detlev Vagts '51:
Reflections on the retirement of a gentle giant
By Pieter H.F. Bekker LL.M. '91
Henry Steiner '55:
Pioneer, scholar and mentor
By Makau Mutua LL.M. '85 S.J.D. '87