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In memoriam - Prof. Herman Schaper 1949-2021

It is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of our former colleague professor Herman Schaper on Tuesday 30 November this year. Herman held the Pieter Kooijmans Chair in Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University from 2014 to 2017.

Professor Herman Schaper

Herman was an alumnus of our university and had a long and impressive career as a diplomat and politician behind him before he was appointed as Kooijmans Professor. As a diplomat, he was, among other things, Head of the Permanent Representation to NATO in Brussels and Permanent Representative on behalf of the Netherlands to the UN in New York. In between, he was a member of the Lower House on behalf of D'66 from September 1981 to September 1982 and a member of the Upper House for the same party from 2015 to 2019.

Inspiration for many students

At his oration in 2014, Herman Schaper spoke about the role of the international community in mass atrocities. As in his work as a diplomat and politician, as a professor he has also always been concerned with the issues of law, morality and international intervention in the case of mass atrocities.

With great enthusiasm he used his experience and extensive knowledge as a lecturer at the Minor in Global Affairs of the Institute for Security and Global affairs, and several courses at Leiden University College, thus inspiring many students.

Imposing presence

Herman was an imposing presence, a tall man who you could see cycling through The Hague in all weathers. It was therefore typical that at his farewell as ambassador to the UN in New York, instead of a drink, he offered a bicycle parking place at the UN Headquarters on the East River. As a university community, we are grateful to Herman for his lifelong commitment to peace, justice and international security. We express our appreciation for his dedication and great knowledge and will remember him as a humble, friendly and approachable colleague.

Professor Schaper (r) on a working visit to Task Force Uruzgan, 2009
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