Kiev University of Law awards honorary degree to Professor William E. Butler

The Kiev University of Law of the National Academy of Sciences Ukraine awarded an honorary doctor of laws to Professor William E. Butler along with Dr. V. V. Dudintsev, former prime minister of Ukraine. The ceremony took place on April 13. Both Professor Butler and Dr. V.V. Dudintsev delivered addresses and took questions from the audience.

Professor Butler has devoted most of his career to the study of Soviet, Russian, Ukrainian, and other Commonwealth of Independent States Legal systems. “People don't always understand the tremendous scope and heritage of the Russian legal system,” said Butler, who has authored, edited, or translated more than 120 books. “I could work on the theoretical foundations of Comparative International Law my entire life and never exhaust the subject.”

“Professor Butler's scholarship in comparative law is one of the reasons why I chose Penn State Law, and working as his research assistant has been one of the most important opportunities for my future career,” said Chris Stromberg '13, who is earning both a J.D. and a master's of international affairs. Last summer Stromberg interned at Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners in St. Petersburg, Russia.

An arbitrator and mediator, Professor Butler is a member of the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution and in his fourth term on the Russian International Court of Commercial Arbitration. Professor Butler is the John Edward Fowler Distinguished Professor of Law and International Affairs, and he teaches LL.M. students, J.D. students, and students in the Penn State School of International Affairs.

Professor Butler's most recent book is The Russian Legal Practitioner, the first book in any language on the practice of law in Russia. He is now working on a treatise on the laws of Ukraine. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine for more than 20 years.

Also at the ceremony, the World Jurist Association awarded Professor Butler its Rule of Law Medal for services promoting the rule of law in the Commonwealth of Independent States legal systems.

Founded in 1995, the Kiev University of Law is part of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The Kiev University of Law, which is the only teaching and research unit within the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, has over 3,000 law students.