Professor David Caron

Professor David Caron

  • The William H. Maxeiner Distinguished Professor of Law
    University of California at Berkeley

Professor Caron is a member of the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on Public International Law. He currently also serves as a Co-Director of the Law of the Sea Institute, as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute of Transnational Arbitration of the Center for American and International Law, as a Co Chair of the G. William Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, and as a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law.

He presently serves also as a member of the NAFTA Chapter 11 Arbitration Panels in the matters of Gleams Gold v. The United States and Cargill Industries v. The United Statesof Mexico.

Professor Caron attended the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, graduating with High Honors with emphases in Physics and Political Science and as Commander of the Corp of Cadets in 1974. He served first in the Arctic as the Navigator and Salvage Diving Officer aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, and second in San Francisco as the Assistant Chief of the Marine Environmental Protection for California. He received the Coast Guard’s Achievement Medal and resigned from the service with the rank of Lieutenant in 1979. In that year, Professor Caron was named a Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom and attended the University of Wales where he received a Masters’ degree in Marine Law and Policy.

Professor Caron studied law at the University of California at Berkeley graduating Order of the Coif and co-recipient of the Thelen Marrin Prize for outstanding student scholarship in 1983. During his study of the law, he began his close relationship with Professor Stefan Albrecht Riesenfeld serving both as his Research and Teaching Assistant. He also was elected Editor in Chief of Ecology Law Quarterly. Following graduation from Berkeley, Professor Caron served as a legal assistant to Judges Richard M. Mosk and Charles N. Brower at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague. While in The Hague, Professor Caron began his association with the Hague Academy of International Law becoming the 25th American to receive its prestigious Diploma and with the University of Leiden where he received his Doctorate in Law for a dissertation addressing the Iran – United States Claims Tribunal and the evolving structure of international dispute resolution. He thereupon served as a Senior Research Fellow with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law in Heidelberg and thereafter practiced with the San Francisco firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro before joining the law faculty at Berkeley in the Fall of 1987.

Professor Caron’s scholarship covers many aspects of international law and organization, with the corpus of work focusing on public and private international dispute resolution, international courts and tribunals, the United Nations, the law of the sea, international environmental law, climate change and general theory of international law.

Professor Caron has been a visiting professor at Cornell Law School (1990) and Hastings College of the Law (1996). He has also served as Director of Studies (1987) and Director of Research (1995) at the Hague Academy of International Law. In 1991, he received the Deák prize of the American Society of International Law for outstanding scholarship by a younger scholar. 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. In 2006, he served as a member of the Faculty in the Public International Law Session of the Hague Academy of International Law.

From 1996 to 2003, Professor Caron served as Commissioner with the Precedent Panel (E2) of the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva resolving claims arising out of the 1990 Gulf War. Over a series of seven installments, the E(2) Panel addressed several thousand corporate claims in the construction, insurance, banking, transportation, export, tourist and aviation sectors.

In 2000 to 2001, he briefly served as the U.S. appointed Member of the Property Claims Commission established under the German Forced Labor Settlement. He also served as Counsel for the Government of Ethiopia before the Eritrea – Ethiopia Claims Commission in 2004-2005, and as President of the ICSID Tribunal in the matter of Aguas del Tunai v. The Republicof Bolivia(2002 to 2006). He has served as Counsel to the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal, and provided legal counsel to various Governments. He is included as one of the top international arbitrators from the United States in Chambers USA (since inaugural 2005 edition), Chambers Global (since inaugural 2007 edition) and Who’sWhoLegal, California (since 2007).He is a Co-Editor of World Arbitration and Mediation Reports, Professor Caron is active in public service.

He is a member of numerous advisory boards and has served as a Vice President of the American Society of International Law, and as Chair of the International Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He was a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law from 1990 to 2005, served as Editor of the International Decisions section of the Journal from 2003 to 2005, and was reelected to the Board in 2008. In addition to activities mentioned above, he is a founding director of the Ocean Governance Study Group and the University of California Marine Council.

David Caron was born in 1952 in Connecticut to Laurier and Rita Caron. He enjoys singing and has done so with outstanding symphonies and choirs in the United States and Britain. He is an avid squash player and accomplished archer. He is married to Susan Spencer and is the father of two children.

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