Along came a spider...


in memoriam



Prof. dr. Walter van Gerven
1935 — 2015

Dear colleagues and friends of prof. van Gerven

It is our sad duty to announce the passing of prof. em. Walter van Gerven, yesterday, at the age of 80.

We will all remember him as a great, innovative and inspiring EU lawyer, but in particular also as the founding father and general editor of the Ius Commune Casebooks for the Common Law of Europe.

Ever since the start of the casebook project in 1994 he relentlessly inspired and convinced so many of us – in Leuven, in Maastricht and elsewhere in Europe – to contribute to and become part of this challenging undertaking, combining our insights and joining forces to – in his words – “bridge the unbridgeable” by unraveling and uncovering the common roots and principles underlying our legal systems.

The project adheres to its golden standard, which Walter van Gerven set himself as leading author of the pioneering and widely acclaimed volumes on tort law, the first of which was published in 1998, at a time when the body of comparative legal literature in that field, as in many others, was almost virtually non-existent in comparison with today's flourishing literature.

All casebooks published so far as well as those still in preparation stick to the characteristic functional bottom-up approach and they all aspire to allow students and scholars across Europe and beyond to study the same body of leading cases and materials. In doing so the series enshrines and will continue to embody and thereby honour prof. van Gerven’s firmly rooted belief that a genuine approximation of legal systems can and will not prove successful if not embedded in societal reality and supported by knowledge shared by future generations of lawyers – a vision which, unfortunately, proves so pertinent these days.

The funeral service will be held at 11 am, July 17, at Saint John the Baptist Church, Groot Begijnhof, Leuven, Belgium.

Walter van Gerven leaves his wife, four sons and their families. On behalf of all those involved in the casebook project, and its management and steering committees, we offer our sincere condolences to his family, loved ones, friends and colleagues.

Leuven, July 9, 2015.