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March 17, 2003

Press Contact: Allegra Young, UT Law Communications, (512) 471-7330

President of Germany Honors Markesinis with
Knight Commander of the Order of the Merit With Star

Basil Markesinis is first British academic to receive honor

Regalia of the Knight Commander of the Order of the Merit With Star

Regalia of the
Knight Commander of the
Order of the Merit With Star

AUSTIN, Texas – The President of Germany has awarded University of Texas School of Law professor Basil Markesinis the Knight Commander of the Order of the Merit with Star for services to "comparative law, German law and Anglo-German relations." This marks the first time a British academic has been so honored.

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was instituted in 1951. It is the only German honor that may be awarded in all fields of endeavor and is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation. The Order of Merit may be awarded to Germans as well as foreigners for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for all kinds of outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.

Markesinis holds the Jamail Regents Chair in Law and directs UT Law’s Institute for Transnational Law, which has overseen the translation of hundreds of German and French cases into English. He simultaneously holds the Chair of Common and Civil Law at University College London. His book, The German Law of Torts, A Comparative Treatise, is now in its fourth edition.

"There are only a handful of legal scholars anywhere in the English-speaking world who enjoy Basil Markesinis's level of international renown and recognition," commented Dean Bill Powers. "His contributions to the understanding of European law, and German law in particular, are unparalleled. We are delighted by this latest honor, and privileged to have him as our colleague."

"The Knight Commander award recently bestowed on Professor Basil Markesinis by the President of Germany is another in a long line of prestigious recognitions he has received", said Gibson Gayle Jr., trustee and president of the M. D. Anderson Foundation, the entity which played a major role in the founding of the Institute of Transnational Law. "When one is the top authority in the world in the international and comparative law, such remarkable distinctions are richly deserved".

Professor Basil Markesinis is the world’s leading English-language authority on European private law. He is an honorary Queen's Counsel, and holds doctorates or honorary doctorates from (in alphabetical order): Athens, Cambridge, Ghent, Munich, Oxford, and Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne). At the University of Oxford, Markesinis held successively the Chairs of European Law and Comparative Law. He has authored or co-authored twenty-five books and more than one hundred legal articles which have been published in leading law journals in America, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands. He has lectured extensively at twenty-five different law faculties including Athens, Cornell, Ghent, Leiden, Michigan (Ann-Arbor), Munich, Paris I, Paris II, Rome, Siena, and Texas (at Austin), at all of which he has held either part-time (but tenured) Chairs or Visiting Professorships. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Foreign Fellow of the Royal Belgian and the Royal Netherlands Academies, a Corresponding Fellow of the Academy of Athens, and a Member of the American Law Institute. In 2002 he was appointed Conseiller Scientifique du Premier Président de la Cour de Cassation (France) on matters of European law. He has received high decorations for his work on European law and integration from the Presidents of France (twice), Germany (three times), Greece, and Italy (three times). Most recently, President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi promoted him to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, the highest honor of the Italian Republic.

Related Links:
The President of Italy honors Markesinis
German and French case translations by the Institute of Transnational Law and University College London