In the first weeks of my LL.M. studies at Columbia University, our class received two invitations from George Bermann: the first was for interested students to step forward to serve on the editorial board of the Columbia Journal of European Law; the second to apply for a position as Professor Bermann’s research assistant. Freshly arrived from law school in Europe, excited not only to study at Columbia but also to live in New York, I eagerly accepted both invitations—and was so fortunate as to be selected for both positions.
Little did I realise that the opportunities offered to me by Professor Bermann would set me on a course for life. As an editorial board member, I learned how a scholarly journal functions, I then pursued this, among other, as the co-editor-in-chief of the Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals. As his research assistant, I helped him prepare for his summer lectures at the Academy of European Law at the European University Institute in Florence. This was the best possible preparation for my own lecturing career later on. George Bermann was not only a mentor for me, he is a role model, one of those giants in the field who manage to be inspiring professors as well as outstanding practitioners, while remaining kind to all and generous with their time towards students in particular.
It is therefore an honour and a pleasure for me to contribute to this book reflecting on George Bermann’s legacy.