Jiri Toman, Santa Clara University Law School Professor Emeritus and international law scholar, passed away on April 20, 2020 in Geneva Switzerland. He was 81 years old.
Professor Toman joined the Santa Clara law faculty in 1998 following several decades of teaching law and policy courses at prestigious European and U.S. law schools, including University of Geneva, George Washington University, Danube University-Krems. Professor Toman was a leading teacher and scholar in several areas of international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights, the law of war and armed conflict, and the law concerning the protection of cultural property. According to former Dean, Donald Polden, “Professor Toman was widely admired and respected by his students for his vast subject matter knowledge of international law and he was the intellectual foundation for the law school’s international law curriculum for many years.” His colleagues remember him as kind and generous, a man of great humility, integrity and unwavering commitment to his chosen path. During Professor Toman’s twenty-two years of teaching at Santa Clara, he authored significant treatises on the protection of cultural property and the law of armed conflict. He also was frequently sought after by United Nation’s agencies and foreign governments seeking to enact laws to protect their cultural property, artifacts and historically significant property. Prior to coming to Santa Clara University, Professor Toman served as Director of the Henry Dunant Institute of the International Red Cross from 1992 to 1998. In 2014, the Red Cross named its International Humanitarian Service Award the Jiri Toman Award in honor of his 45 years of service to the International Humanitarian Law Program.
Upon learning of his passing, many members of Santa Clara Law shared warm memories of Professor Toman. Interim Dean Anna Han sent our collective sympathies to his family. He will be missed.