In Memory of Albin Eser
We mourn the loss of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Albin Eser, M.C.J. (NYU), former director at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (now the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law) in Freiburg, professor emeritus at the University of Freiburg, and the holder of numerous honorary doctorates. Albin Eser was an outstanding criminal law expert, judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and recipient of the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Albin Eser was born in Leidersbach/Bavaria on January 26, 1935. From 1954-1958, he studied law at the Universities of Würzburg and Tübingen and at the Free University of Berlin. He was awarded his doctorate from the University of Würzburg in 1962. In 1969, he earned his postdoctoral lecturing qualification at the University of Tübingen with a thesis (habilitation) on penal sanctions involving the deprivation of money or property (Die strafrechtlichen Sanktionen gegen das Eigentum).
In 1970, Albin Eser was appointed a full professor at the University of Bielefeld, where he also held the positions of dean and vice-rector. Professor Eser returned to the University of Tübingen in 1974 before accepting a position at the University of Freiburg in 1982 where, in addition to his professorship, he was appointed director at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. He served as director until his retirement in 2003. He also served on ethics committees to investigate and help prevent scientific misconduct within the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the University of Freiburg. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland), Universidad Peruana Los Andes in Huancayo (Peru), and Waseda University in Tokyo (Japan).
After retiring, Albin Eser served as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. As a visiting professor, he also lectured at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto (Japan), at Saint Louis University in Missouri (USA), at the University of Haifa (Israel), at the University of Tasmania in Hobart (Australia), and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel).
Even after his retirement, Albin Eser remained dedicated to the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg. He actively took part in scientific life at the Institute, in the Max Planck Society, and in international criminal law scholarship. He passed away in January 2023 at the age of 87. We will miss him greatly.