Professor Emeritus Robert Feenstra (1920-2013)

By Laurens Winkel, President of the Grotiana Foundation.

Professor Robert Feenstra, one of the most outstanding specialists in the legal writings of Hugo Grotius, died on March 2 at the age of 92. Prof. Feenstra was  Professor of Legal History in Utrecht from 1949 till 1952 and Professor of Roman Law at Leyden University from 1952 till 1985. He  published extensively on Grotius’s  legal heritage. He was the chairman of the Grotius Commission of the Royal Netherlands  Academy of Arts and Sciences and organized the official Grotius quartercentenary of Grotius’s birth in 1983. Moreover, he published in 1993 a new edition of De Iure Belli ac Pacis with very useful references to the early modern authors used by Grotius, based on the edition by B.J.A. de Kanter-van Hettinga Tromp published in 1939. In 2009 he published, nearly ninety years old, with the librarian of the Library of The Peace Palace, Jeroen Vervliet, a new and critical edition of Mare Liberum (2009). From the very beginning he was a member of the Board of the Grotiana Foundation. Moreover, he was during 63 years a leading member of the Editorial Committee of the “Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis/The Legal History”. Eleven foreign universities bestowed upon him a doctorate honoris causa and he was decorated with high decorations by the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy.

More extensive obituaries will be published in “The Legal History Review” and in the journal “Grotiana”.

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