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M. Cherif Bassiouni papers

Identifier: DPUA0003

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the professional career of M. Cherif Bassiouni. The papers include publications written by Bassiouni, correspondence, as well as awards and honors he received. Files documenting Bassiouni’s work to establish the International Criminal Court (ICC) and DePaul University’s International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI) are also included. The files also include documentation about IHRLI and Bassiouni’s involvement with the United Nations Yugoslavia Commission.


  • 1944-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1968-2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

M. Cherif Bassiouni, a native of Egypt, was born in 1937 and immigrated to the United States in 1962. Bassiouni earned a Baccalaureat Lettres from the College de la Sainte Famille in Cairo in 1955, a degree in International and Maritime Law (LL.M) from Cairo University in 1958-1961, a law degree from Indiana University of Law (J.D) in 1964, a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D) in International Criminal Law from The John Marshall Law School in 1966 and a Doctor of Law from George Washington University in 1973. His law studies cover the three major legal systems of the world: civil law, common law and Islamic Sharia.

In 1964, he began his teaching career at DePaul University College of Law as Professor of Law. His subjects included Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, International Criminal Law, International Protection of Human Rights, Public International Law and Conflict of Laws. In 1970, he was a Fulbright-Hays Professor of International Criminal Law at the University of Freiburg, Germany. From 1975-1977, Bassiouni and University of Chicago Professor Morton A. Kaplan of the University of Chicago drafted a plan for Middle East peace titled “A Framework for Peace in the Middle East Agreed at Camp David.” This document is located in the International Criminal Court Section (ICC), Publications, Bassiouni. The plans essential tenets are reflected in the Camp David Peace Accords. Bassiouni served as an advisor to then Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat during the Accords as well as in 1979 during the Egyptian-Israel Peace Treaty negotiations. A photocopy of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty is located in the ICC Section, Organizations.

In 1988, Bassiouni served as President of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) based in Siracusa, Italy. In 1990, he founded the International Human Rights Institute (IHRLI) at DePaul University College of Law. Bassiouni served as President of IHRLI from its beginning until 2008 when he became President Emeritus. ISISC and IHRLI have collaborated in national reconstruction, scholarship, training and technical assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq in addition to various other initiatives worldwide.

Bassiouni’s efforts in the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) led to various United Nations appointments. In 1992, he served as chairman of the U.N. Commission of Experts established to investigate war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia during its civil war in the early 1990s. In 1992, Bassiouni led a group of DePaul law students, 140 volunteers and other lawyers in the efforts to compile a database of war crime evidence. As a result of the Commission’s investigations and documentation, the U.N. Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia to prosecute violators of international humanitarian law from Yugoslavia’s conflict. This was the U.N.’s first special tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo.

From 1996-1998, Bassiouni served as vice-chair of the U.N.’s General Assembly Committee to establish an ICC and was elected chair of the Drafting Committee of the Diplomatic Conference in 1998. This Committee was responsible for adopting the statute that would establish the ICC. The Rome Statute of the ICC was adopted in 1999. Throughout Bassiouni’s career he has been the recipient of many academic as well as national and international awards and honors. Most notable academic awards from DePaul University are the Faculty Achievement Award (1993), DePaul University Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award (1999), the DePaul University Alumni Outstanding Service Award (2000), the College of Law’s Distinguished Research Professor of Law (2003), the St. Vincent DePaul Humanitarian Award (2007) and the Via Sapientiae Award (2009). Bassiouni is also the recipient of honorary medals from Austria, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. In addition, Bassiouni was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the ICC and international criminal justice.


32 Linear Feet (46 boxes)

Language of Materials



Spanish; Castilian








Dutch; Flemish








The M. Cherif Bassiouni papers are divided into eight series: 1. Biographical Files; 2. Publications; 3. Book Reviews; 4. International Criminal Court (ICC) Files; 5. International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI) Files; 6. Research Files; 7. Legal Cases; 8. Memorabilia.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 2010.05; 2010.25

Processing Information

K. Gosa 2011

Guide to M. Cherif Bassiouni papers
K. Gosa
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614