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Charlesworth, Hilary; McCorquodale, Robert --- "Introduction" [1999] AUYrBkIntLaw 1; (1999) 20 Australian Year Book of International Law i

Don Greig

This volume honours Professor Don Greig and his contribution to international law. One of Don Greig’s many achievements is his long term editorship of the Australian Year Book of International Law and it seems fitting that this millennial edition be dedicated to him.

Donald Westlake Greig was born in London on 31 October 1936. He was the only child of Gladys Elizabeth Greig (nee Filbee) and William George Westlake Greig (and no relation to the international lawyer John Westlake). Don’s father worked for the Port of London and during the Second World War he was sent to run an emergency port on the River Clyde. Don’s schooling thus began in Scotland where he attended the Greenock Academy from 1940–1945. He later attended Queen Elizabeth’s in Barnet on the outskirts of London. After completing secondary school, Don Greig joined the army for two years (1955–1957) under the national service scheme. He later recalled that this period had allowed him to play a lot of cricket!

Don Greig arrived at Jesus College, Cambridge to begin his law degree in 1957. The Tutor of Admissions was Robert Jennings (later President of the International Court of Justice) and Don’s Director of Studies was the formidable Glanville Williams. Don Greig’s intellect and natural affinity with law shone through and he completed his law degree with first class honours and the sought-after title of Scholar. Don then commenced articles with the Southwick Borough Council. He did not enjoy this exposure to a solicitor’s practice and quickly decided that he would prefer the life of an academic and barrister.

Don Greig’s first academic position was as an assistant Lecturer at the University of Manchester in 1961 and it was here that his interest in international law developed. He was recruited to take the place of Derek Bowett as assistant to Professor Ben Wortley, teaching international law and jurisprudence. He also taught a postgraduate course in International Institutions. From Manchester he moved to the University of Birmingham in 1963, where he stayed until 1966. In 1967 Don Greig was admitted as a member of the Middle Temple.

Eager for a change of environment, in 1967 Don Greig took up a three year post in the new Law School at Monash University in Melbourne. By this time he had married Diana Shadwick (in 1961) and had two children Jonathan (born in 1962) and Alison (born in 1963). A third child, Justine, was born in 1968. During his time at Monash, Don Greig wrote most of his celebrated book on International Law and quickly adapted to the Australian scene. At the end of his contract, Don Greig returned to the United Kingdom to take up the Chair in Law and Head of School of the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology.) This was a remarkable appointment for someone who was not quite 34 years of age and had been an academic for barely ten years.

Within four years, however, Don Greig was back in Australia, where he remained until his retirement in 1999. In 1974 Don joined the young Law Faculty at the Australian National University in Canberra as Professor. In 19?? He was named Robert Garran Professor of Law. Don Greig has played a crucial role in establishing the Australian National University as a centre of excellence in the study of international law. He re-activated the Australian Year Book of International Law and forged it into a well-regarded journal. He was instrumental in organising an annual International Law Weekend, which brought together international law practitioners from academia, legal profession and government and non-government service. He advised on a number of important international legal cases. Don has also acted as a mentor to many more junior academics, tirelessly reading papers and providing encouragement and candid comment.

Don Greig was twice Dean of the Law Faculty at the Australian National University (1977–1980, 1988–1991). At the same time, as is indicated in this volume, he wrote widely and deeply on international law. He also showed remarkable versatility in his scholarship and teaching as his books on Commercial Law in Australia (19??) Sale of Goods (19??) and Law of Contract (19??) (with Jim Davis) testify.

In 1983, Don married Dr Rosalie Balkin, a South African international lawyer who had come to live in Australia. Their generosity of spirit and hospitality is well-known in Canberra, particularly their election night parties. Don has always displayed great loyalty to his friends from all walks of life. His erudition aside, one of the most striking features of Don Greig’s life is his attachment to sport. He was a gifted batsman in cricket, indeed he had played with the famous Ted Dexter. While at Monash, Don topped the University staffs’ batting averages. Soccer is also a passion of Don’s, his team being the Tottenham Spurs. Most lunchtimes at the Australian National University Don could be spotted ambling across for a game, dressed in rather scruffy attire. Not for him the showy, speculative scissor kick or the acrobatic dive. He played soccer as a complete technician, alert and canny.

We have both been beneficiaries of Don Greig’s kindness and collegiality over the years. This volume is dedicated to a warm, humorous, self-deprecating and brilliant scholar who has had significant influence on the growth of international law in Australia.

The Editors

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