In Memoriam: William T. Burke

William T. Burke, Professor Emeritus, passed away July 4, at the age of 87.

Burke joined the University of Washington School of Law faculty in 1968 and taught for 30 years before taking emeritus status in 1998. A noted teacher and scholar in the areas of law of the sea, fisheries law and marine affairs, Professor Burke also served as a member of many governmental, educational, professional and international organizations concerned with the use and regulation of the world's oceans.

"Professor Burke's passing is a tremendous loss for his family and the UW Law community, as well as the generations of environmental and legal scholars influenced by his work," said Dean Kellye Y. Testy.

Burke made landmark contributions to scholarship on ocean law and public policy. When he came to the UW School of Law in 1968, he put together an interdisciplinary group of natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, economists, anthropologists, ecologists and lawyers working on marine issues. Eventually a group with this makeup developed into the School of Marine Affairs. His publications include The Public Order of the Oceans (coauthored with Myres S. McDougal), published in 1962 and revised in 1987, and The New International Law of Fisheries (1994; translated into Japanese, 1996). In addition to being the principal founder of the University's interdisciplinary School of Marine Affairs, he was also the founding editor of Ocean Development and International Law and a founding member of the Law of the Sea Institute, now at the University of California Berkeley.

On the occasion of his 81st birthday, graduates of the LL.M. program in Law and Marine Affairs came from around the world to celebrate Professor Burke. "Bill Burke has been the brightest star in the firmament of the international law of sea since the early 1960s, and even in retirement, no one comes close to his achievement," said Professor Ed Miles of the UW School of Marine Affairs at the time


Prior to joining the UW School of Law, Professor Burke taught at Yale Law School and the Ohio State University College of Law for twelve years. Professor Burke is survived by his wife, Feliciana, two children, William and Liza, three grandchildren and a great grandson.

The memorial for Professor Burke will be held this Sunday, August 10th, at 11:00 a.m. at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105.

Connect with us:

© Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved University of Washington School of Law

4293 Memorial Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98195