Jon M. Van Dyke, a professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa who was an internationally recognized jurist in the areas of constitutional law, international law, international environmental and ocean law and international human rights law, died Tuesday night while in Australia to speak at a Law of the Sea conference.
Van Dyke, who joined the law school faculty in 1976, taught a generation of law students constitutional law and international law over the past 35 years. He was known as an educator well beyond the classroom and constantly traveled the world as a renowned international expert committed to teaching people at all levels.
He gave talks and keynote addresses and regularly participated on panels across a wide range of topics. He handled many well-known cases, perhaps most notably on behalf of Native Hawaiians and international human rights claimants.
Professor Van Dyke was the law school’s inaugural Carlsmith Ball Faculty Scholar and a recipient of the UH Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research. He also won numerous teaching awards at both the school and campus levels. His most recent major book, Who Owns the Ceded Lands?, garnered considerable attention from a general audience as well as specialists.
“Jon was admired, loved and vitally important throughout a remarkable number of different circles of people stretching far beyond our law school, but we were particularly and truly blessed to have the direct benefit of his many years of inspirational teaching and scholarship, remarkable public service and deep and abiding friendship,” said Dean Avi Soifer.
Professor Van Dyke was 68. He is survived by wife, attorney Sherry Broder, and their three children, Eric, Michelle and Jesse.
See the law school’s homepage for a tribute to Van Dyke. Memorial service information is pending.