David Caron

  • C. William Maxeiner Distinguished Professor of Law (Emeritus)

David Caron passed away on February 20, 2018. There will be a memorial and symposium in his honor at Berkeley Law in September 2018. 


David Caron ’83 is an expert in international law. He currently teaches public international law, resolution of private international disputes, ocean law and policy, and the advanced international law writing workshop.

Caron is President of the American Society of International Law, Immediate Past Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute of Transnational Arbitration of the Center for American and International Law, a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, and a member of the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on Public International Law since 1993. He is the co-director of the Miller Institute on Global Challenges and the Law and the co-director of the Law of the Sea Institute, an international consortium of scholars that has played a major part in studies of ocean law since the 1970s. He is a member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law, a co-editor in chief of the World Arbitration and Mediation Review and co-editor in chief of the SSRN International Environmental Law Ejournal.

Before joining the Boalt faculty in 1987, Caron practiced with the San Francisco firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro. From 1985 to 1986, he was a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law. A Fulbright scholar and former navigator and salvage diver in the U.S. Coast Guard, Caron graduated from Boalt in 1983. He then served as a legal assistant to Judges Richard Mosk and Charles Brower at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague.

Caron has served as director of studies (1987), director of research (1995) and as a lecturer (2006) at the Hague Academy of International Law. He received the 1991 Deak Prize of the American Society of International Law for outstanding scholarship by a younger academic. He has served as chair of the International Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, a member of the precedent panel of the U.N. Compensation Commission for claims arising out of the Gulf War, counsel for Ethiopia before the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, and president of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Tribunal in the matter of Aguas del Tunari v. The Republic of Bolivia as well as a member of the NAFTA Chapter 11 Arbitration Panels in the matters of Glamis Gold v. The United States and Cargill Industries v. The United States of Mexico.

In 2000, he received the Stefan A. Riesenfeld Award of the University of California for outstanding achievement and contribution to the field of international law.

Caron’s recent publications include The Oceans in the Nuclear Age: Legacies and Risks (coedited with Harry N. Scheiber, 2010); The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules: A Commentary (co authored with Lee Caplan and Matti Pellonpaa, 2006); “The Profound Significance of the UNCC for the Environment,” in Environmental Liability: Gulf War Reparations and the UN Compensation Commission (Cymie Payne and Peter H. Sand, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011); “Negotiating Our Future with the Oceans,” in A Planet for Life 2011–Oceans (L. Tubiana, P. Jacquet, and R.K. Pachauri, eds., 2011); “The Interpretation of National Foreign Investment Laws as Unilateral Acts Under International Law,” in Looking to the Future: Essays on International Law in Honor of W. Michael Reisman (Mahnoush Arsanjani, Jacob Cogan, Robert Sloane, & Siegfried Weissner eds., 2011); “A Call to Action: Turning the Golden State into a Golden Opportunity for International Arbitration,” 28 Berkeley Journal of International Law (2010) (coauthored with Leah Harhay); “The Alien Tort Statute: An Overview of Current Issues,” 28 Berkeley Journal of International Law (2010) (coauthored with Richard M. Buxbaum); “Investor-State Arbitration: Strategic and Tactical Perspectives on Legitimacy,” 32 Suffolk Transnational Law Review (2009); “The Law of the Sea,” 2 The International Encyclopedia of Peace (Oxford University Press, Nigel Young ed., 2010); “Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and the Coming Uncertainty in Oceanic Boundaries: A Proposal to Avoid Conflict,” Maritime Boundary Disputes, Settlement Processes, and The Law of the Sea (Seoung-Yong Hong and Jon M. Van Dyke, eds., Martinus Nijhof, 2009); “Anticipating the 2009 Fairness in Arbitration Act,” 2 World Arbitration & Mediation Reports (2008); “Politics, Law and Three Images of the Arctic,” Proceedings, 102th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (2008); “Towards A Political Theory of International Courts and Tribunals,” 24 Berkeley Journal of International Law (2007).”Framing Political Theory of International Courts and Tribunals: Reflections at the Centennial,” in Proceedings, 100th Annual Meeting, American Society of International Law (2006); “If Afghanistan has Failed, Then Afghanistan is Dead: ‘Failed States’ and the Inappropriate Substitution of Legal Conclusion for Political Description,” in The Torture Debate in America (2005); “State Crimes: Looking at Municipal Experience with Organizational Crime,” in International Responsibility Today, Essays in Honor of Oscar Schacter (Cambridge University Press, Maurizio Ragazzi, ed., 2005); and “The United Nations Compensation Commission for Claims Arising Out of the 1991 Gulf War: The ‘Arising Prior To’ Decision,” in the Florida State University Journal of Transnational Law & Policy (2005).


B.S., U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1974)
M.Sc., University of Wales (1980)
J.D., UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) (1983)
Diploma, Hague Academy of International Law (1984)
Doctorandus, Leiden University (1985)
Dr. Jur., Leiden University (1990)