It is with immense sadness that we learned of the sudden death of our dear friend Josip Kregar on 15 August. For many years, Josip, a highly respected professor of sociology of law and former Dean (2005 – 2009) at the Zagreb Law Faculty, represented the University of Zagreb in the European Master Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice. He was a formidable person, a great friend and a highly appreciated teacher and thesis supervisor for our students from all world regions. Until December 2019, he also served as a member of the EIUC Board during a highly challenging time when EIUC was gradually transformed into the Global Campus of Human Rights, a universal network of 100 universities. As Secretary General, I knew that I always could count on Josip in times of crisis. I particularly loved his dry humor, his loyalty, modesty and his coolness when tackling difficult problems.
In his home country, Josip was a moral authority. He even served for two months in 2000 as interim Mayor of Zagreb and in 2009, he organized an independent (non-party) list, which won five seats in the Zagreb City Council. He achieved international recognition as an expert on anti-corruption, repeatedly criticized corruption in Croatian politics and drafted various laws on fighting corruption in Croatia. He was invited as visiting professor at many well-known universities, including Yale, Paris-Sorbonne, Heidelberg, Milano and Graz.
We will keep Josip in our memory as a true friend of the Global Campus of Human Rights, a great human being, a humanist and engaged human rights defender. It is difficult to imagine that our governing bodies will meet in early October in Venice without Josip. I wish to thank you for your friendship, your humor and all you did for us. May your soul rest in peace.
Manfred Nowak on behalf of the Global Campus of Human Rights, Venice, 15 August 2020