In Memoriam: Pierre Strohl

Pierre Strohl

Pierre Strohl, former Deputy Director-General of the NEA, has passed away.

It is with deep sadness that the NEA Community learned of the passing of Pierre Strohl, former Deputy Director-General of the NEA. An official since 1948, Pierre joined the European Nuclear Energy Agency in 1956 where he worked under Pierre Huet and was heavily involved in the foundation of the present OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.  

In his role as Head of the ENEA/NEA Legal and External Relations Division from 1966-1974, Pierre led the NEA’s work on the exclusion of small quantities from existing conventions and the establishment of the Convention on Civil Liability for Maritime Carriage of Nuclear Material. As Deputy Director of Security and Regulation of Nuclear Activities and later Deputy Director-General, Pierre was with the Agency until his retirement in 1991. After his retirement he remained active in academia, participating in such diverse bodies as the section de langue française du Centre d'Étude et de Recherche de l'Académie as well the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations, part of the Hague Academy of International Law, amongst others.Patrick Reyners, who also served as Head of the NEA Legal Division, writes:

Pierre Strohl initiated the programme of nuclear legislation studies as well as the Nuclear Law Bulletin, a rather unorthodox idea at the time, and tasked your humble servant to carry it on.

The NEA continues to carry out Pierre’s initial work in the development, strengthening and harmonisation of nuclear legislation and regulation, as well as publishing the Nuclear Law Bulletin for over 50 years.

Pierre Strohl is remembered fondly by his colleagues and those who studied under him. Abdelwahab Biad writes:

I participated in a research session of The Hague Academy of International Law as young law professor under the supervision of Pierre Strohl. It was an enriching experience for all participants coming from around the world. I kept in touch with him afterwards and was lucky to benefit from his advice and knowledge on nuclear law.

The following story, which he told at the 2007 Colloquium on the Past, Present and Future of the Nuclear Law Committee, captures some of his esprit de vie:  

Il s’agit d’une histoire qui courait dans les couloirs du Groupe d’experts au cours des premières années. On disait qu’un expert nouveau qui arrivait dans le groupe et qui ne connaissait pas encore les autres aurait dit « Je vois ici la liste des membres et, si je comprends bien, M. Boulanger est l’expert français. » On lui a répondu « Mais non, Herr Dr. Boulanger c’est l’expert allemand ». « Ah bon, pardonnez-moi je pensais que c’était plutôt M. Strohl l’expert allemand ». « Non, M. Strohl est français et il appartient au Secrétariat ». Sur ce, le nouveau aurait rétorqué « Mais quand même, M. Arangio-Ruiz est bien l’expert espagnol ». « Pas du tout, c’est l’expert italien ! »

The NEA community extends its sincere condolences to his widow Zahra Saïd-Strohl and his family.

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