Hans Smit

Stanley H. Fuld Professor Emeritus of Law

Areas of Expertise
  • Civil procedure
  • International arbitration
  • International law and transactions
  • Conflict of laws


  • LL.B., Amsterdam, 1946; J.D., 1949
  • M.A., Columbia, 1953; LL.B., 1958
  • S.J.D. (honoris causa), University of Paris I (Sorbonne).

Detailed Biography

Columbia Law School mourns deeply the loss of Hans Smit (1927–2012). Remembrances of him may be left here.

Editor, Columbia Law Review. Private practice, 1949-56, The Hague, The Netherlands, 1952-58; and New York, 1958-60. Joined the Columbia faculty in 1960. Director, Project on International Procedure, 1960-68; director, Leyden-Amsterdam-Columbia Summer Program in American Law, 1962-88; director, Project on European Legal Institutions, 1965-77. Director of the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia from 1980 to 1998; director, Center for International Arbitration and Litigation Law, 1997-2005; director, Center for East European Law, 1998 - 2005.

From 1960 to 1969, reporter to the U.S. Commission on International Rules of Judicial Procedure. Former adviser to the U.S. Delegation to UNCITRAL, and consultant to the Judicial Conference of the State of New York. Visiting professor, University of Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne), 1975-76 and 1989-92, and consultant on Legal Reform, World Bank, 1993 and 1998. Member, Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and International Academy of Comparative Law. Awarded E. M. Meijers Medal by University of Leyden (Netherlands). Was knighted by the Queen of The Netherlands (Order of Netherlands Lion). Taught civil procedure, international arbitration, international law and transactions, and conflict of laws.


Publications include International Cooperation in Litigation: Europe (co-author, 1965); Elements of Civil Procedure (co-author, 1970); International Business Transactions in the Common Market (2003); The Law of the European Economic Community (6 vols., with P. Herzog); The World Arbitration Reporter (6 vols., with V. Pechota); The Smit Guides to International Arbitration (8 vols.); The American Review of International Arbitration (editor-in-chief); Civil Procedure in Sweden (editor, R. B. Ginsburg and A. Bruzelius, 1965); Civil Procedure in Italy (editor, M. Cappelletti and J. M. Perillo, 1965); Civil Procedure in France (editor, P. Herzog, 1967); and numerous articles on procedure and international transactions.