Jon Van Dyke (1943-2011)

The Law of the Sea Institute and the entire community of legal scholars globally have lost a colleague of great distinction in our field. We regret to take note of the death of Professor Jon M. Van Dyke, member of the Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii, faculty and a central figure in all the scholarly and organizational activities of the LOSI. He passed away on November 29, 2011 while participating in the LOSI conference recently held in Wollongong, Australia.

His contributions to the scholarly literature in ocean law, U.S. and international environmental law, U.S. constitutional law, indigenous rights, and international human rights have been of far-reaching influence in all these fields. His pro bono litigation, in collaboration with his wife Sherry Broder, an eminent graduate of Berkeley Law and former president of the Hawaii State Bar, has been of exceptional importance in the pursuit of restitution for victims of human rights violations and in litigation on behalf of Native Hawaiian claims. During the time LOSI was based at the University of Hawaii, he was an officer and leading spirit of the organization; and in the last decade, while LOSI has been based at UC Berkeley, we have depended upon him for his invaluable intellectual contributions, his unstinting devotion to the ocean law field, and his contributions to our publications both as author and editor. He was always generous with his time, energy, and wise counsel. During Spring 2011 semester, he taught at Berkeley Law, and he gave presentations of his recent research at the LOSI co-sponsored conference in Istanbul in September and as co-speaker with the LOSI co-directors at two international conferences in Seoul, Korea.

His death is an enormous loss not only to Sherry and their children, to whom he was so devoted, but also to his friends and colleagues. The many students and alumni whose lives he enriched by dint of his gift as a teacher and his unfailing kindness and devotion join in mourning this difficult loss to us all.

Harry N. Scheiber and David D. Caron
Co-Directors, LOSI



A public memorial service was held on January 14, 2012 and a fund is being established at the Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii.

Detailed biographical data on Professor Van Dyke, memorial tributes and photographs, and information on the endowed fund that will carry his name and honor his work are available on his School's website.




The Jon Van Dyke Institute of International Law and Justice and the University of Hawai'i Law Review hosted a symposium tribute to Professor Van Dyke, "He Hali'a Aloha No Jon: Memories of Aloha for Jon," on the University of Hawaii campus from January 31-February 1, 2013.  Guided by his interests, the symposium brought together international scholars to speak on issues from sea-level change to nuclear law to human rights.


Keynote addresses were offered by LOSI Co-Directors, Profs. Harry Scheiber and David Caron.

Prof. Harry Scheiber

Prof. David Caron

This conference was the first to be held under the auspices of the newly-formed Jon Van Dyke Institute of International Law and Justice, which honors his work with indigenous peoples, environmental issues, and other concerns of global significance such as nuclear law.

Symposium speakers including Sherry Broder, Esq. (center front),
wife of Jon Van Dyke

In addition to the symposium, Governor Neal Abercrombie proclaimed February 1 as "Jon Van Dyke Day" in Hawaii to honor "the memory of a man whose lifetime was spent fighting for the underdog and forging new legal ground in his battles for justice and equality."