Prof. George Bermann '75 LL.M. Awarded Honorary Degree from the University of Versailles

Prof. George Bermann '75 LL.M. Awarded Honorary Degree from the University of Versailles / Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines


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New York, Nov. 1, 2011—George Bermann ’75 LL.M., Columbia Law School’s Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law, Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law, and director of the European Legal Studies Center, was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Versailles/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on Oct. 18 in France.

Thomas Clay, dean of the University of Versailles Faculty of Law and Political Science, bestowed the doctor honoris causa degree on Bermann at a ceremony held at the Château of Versailles.

Jane Ginsburg, Columbia Law School colleague and leading international expert on intellectual property (who earned a Doctor of Law from the Université de Paris II), attended the honors and marched with the faculty during the ceremony. Bermann’s wife Sandra, professor and former chair of the department of comparative literature and Master of Whitman College at Princeton University, was also present for the festivities.

Above: George Bermann at ceremony with wife, Sandra (left) and Prof. Jane Ginsburg (right).

"It was a privilege to attend the sumptuous ceremony for George's well-deserved honorary degree from the University of Versailles-St Quentin," said Ginsburg. "He was resplendent in his crimson and ermine-trimmed doctoral regalia; his acceptance speech, in perfect French, amply displayed the scientific and personal qualities that led the university to honor him."

The Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Versailles focuses on four main courses of study: private law, public law, history of law, and political science. It partners regularly with the Versailles Court of Appeal, the Versailles Bar, the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Municipal Committee, and the Versailles Administrative Court. Through its Institute of Legal Studies, the university offers students a preparatory course for the entrance examination administered by the Versailles Regional Bar School and for entrance to the National School of Magistracy.


A world-renowned expert in international and comparative law, as well as EU law and the law of international arbitration, Bermann joined the Law School faculty in 1975, after receiving a J.D. from Yale Law School and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School, and practicing law at the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York. He is currently affiliated professor at the École de Droit, Institut des Sciences Politiques (also known as Sciences Po), in Paris, as well as at Collège d’Europe, Bruges, Belgium. His writing has been cited by foreign courts as well as domestic state and federal courts, including by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Morrison.

Right: George Bermann (left) and Dean Thomas Clay (right) at ceremony

Bermann wrote and edited a series of five books on the administrative law of the European Union for the American Bar Association. He has co-authored casebooks on European Union law and the law of the World Trade Organization. He founded—and continues to direct—the European Legal Studies Center, which publishes the Columbia Journal on European Law. And he is the past president of the American Society of Comparative Law, past editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Comparative Law, and current Presidents of the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Bermann is also Chief Reporter of the Restatement (Third) of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration of the American Law Institute, co-author of the current UNCITRAL Guide to the New York Convention and co-editor-in-chief of the American Review of International Arbitration, published at Columbia Law School.

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