Skip to content

Sir Arthur Watts KCMG QC passes away

The Institute was saddened to learn of the death of Sir Arthur Watts on Friday, 16 November in St Thomas's hospital in London. His partner, Cecilia Gillette, and other family members were with him at the time. Eminent in the field of public international law, he was a good friend and supporter of the Institute.

Sir Arthur was a long-standing and eminent member of the Institute, having served on its Council of Management from 1987 until 2005 and then on its Advisory Council. He was among the members of the Institute's Public International Law Advisory Board who strongly encouraged the Institute to pursue the research project on Damages in International Law (currently one of the Institute's core research projects). Together with Professor Vaughan Lowe, Sir Arthur undertook the crucial role of guiding the Institute first in developing a full scientific proposal and subsequently in carrying out the research.

Sir Arthur was also very supportive of the activities of the Investment Treaty Forum, as his diverse practice included international law of foreign investment.

We quote the words of Institute Advisory Council member Daniel Bethlehem QC, the current FCO Legal Adviser, who said:

'Sir Arthur was a friend to many, who held him in the highest regard. As a scholar, practitioner and colleague, he was an inspiration to very many more, who saw in him the epitome of elegance of thought and expression. As Legal Adviser of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office he set the standard for government legal advisers. He will be badly missed.'

The Institute extends its sympathy to Sir Arthur's family.

Further reading can be found in the obituary in The Independent.

Keep In Touch