Other remembrances

Read the New York Times obituary.

Read the Nation obituary.

Read the Democracy Now! remembrance.

Remembering MIchael Ratner

Michael Ratner '66 (1943-2016)  

Passionate, Principled Human Rights Attorney

The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life notes with sorrow the passing of Michael Ratner ’66, a former member of our International Advisory Board. A passionate and principled lawyer, Michael led the Center for Constitutional Rights, and through that institution fought tirelessly for justice for men and women at the margins of the American legal system. His most notable triumph came in winning for detainees in  Guantánamo Bay the right of judicial review.

Michael joined the Center's board in 2006. He was a strong supporter, a wise counselor, and a cherished friend. He pushed us to think deeply about the real-world impact of our work, and he encouraged the Center to be a place where strong and unpopular views could be freely expressed.  He also played a crucial part in building connections for the Center with engaged individuals and institutions in his extensive network of advocates for justice around the world. 

Michael's commitment to principle eventually led him to resign from the Center's board in 2013, in protest of the decision by the Brandeis University administration to suspend fellow Ethics Center International Advisory Board member Dr. Sari Nusseibeh's association with the Center. While this decision deprived the Center of Michael's voice at our meetings, we very much admired his willingness to act on his convictions, and we continued to value his perspective on our work.

We will miss him.