BU Law Mourns the Loss of Longtime Professor Bob Seidman

bob seidmanBoston University School of Law mourns the loss of Robert B. Seidman, a much-loved professor of law and political science, who passed away at his home in Milton, MA, on April 3, 2014.

Bob and his wife, Ann Seidman, retired from BU Law's faculty in 2012 after teaching at the School for a combined 49 years. They taught courses in legislative drafting and law and development, and they were co-directors of the Boston University Program on Legislative Drafting for Democratic Social Change.

Together, the Seidmans' influence has spread globally—working in 30 different countries, co-authoring over 35 books and articles, and serving as United Nations consultants, all during 67 years of marriage. Their focus has been on using the law to bring about social change: they have helped draft the constitutions of Namibia and Somalia and served as advisors for legislative drafting processes in China, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka. As a testament to the demand for their research and experience, their co-authored manual Legislative Drafting for Democratic Social Change: A Manual for Drafters (with Naline Abeysekere, Kluwer Law International 2001) has been translated into Arabic, Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese, Farsi, Macedonian, Russian, Sinhalese and Vietnamese.

In the course of his career, Bob also taught at the University of Wisconsin Law School, as well as law schools in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Beijing. With Ann, he taught short courses in law and development and legislative drafting around the world, from Bhutan to South Africa. Before becoming an academic, he practiced as an attorney in Connecticut and New York. In World War II, he served in the Coast Guard (seconded to the U.S. Navy), earning a commendation ribbon as captain of an LST. He studied at Ethical Culture, Fieldston, Harvard and Columbia.

A servicewill be held on Sunday, June 15, at 11:30 a.m. at BU's Hillel House to honor Bob. Former colleagues, friends and students are welcome to attend and celebrate his life.

VIdeo: Using the Law as a Tool for Social Change


Reported April 15, 2014


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