In memoriam – Geoffrey Hand

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The EUI has learned that Geoffrey Hand, one of the founding faculty members of the EUI Law Department, died earlier this year.

Professor Hand received his BA in History from the University College Dublin, and his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1960, for his research on medieval Irish law. After holding lectureships at Edinburgh and Southampton, he became a statutory lecturer in UCD in 1965 and was Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1970 to 1975. In 1972 he was appointed Professor of Legal and Constitutional History, and held that position until 1976, when he became one of the inaugural professors in our nascent Law Department. He left the EUI in 1979 to become Barber Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Birmingham, where he remained until his retirement.

Professor Hand was one of the leading scholars of his time in the field of medieval and early modern legal history – particularly in relation to the advent of English law in Ireland and Irish ecclesiastical history. He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Irish Legal History Society in 2010.

We express our sincere condolences to his surviving friends, family, colleagues and former students.