To our immeasurable grief we learned today that our dear friend and collaborator Professor Karen Knop passed away after a short illness. The news was especially shocking because of its suddenness and because she had been such an important and lively presence in our professional and personal lives. Karen was such an exceptional, witty, warm and generous person. There has been, understandably, a massive outpouring of grief and memories about her from across the world. Events are planned to provide opportunity for collectively remembering her work and her presence in the lives of her friends and colleagues. Here in Helsinki and at the Erik Castrén Institute we recall her participation in many of our projects, always as an inspiring and inspired colleague whose wisdom and counsel we learned to take with great seriousness and whose conversational skills we never ceased to enjoy and admire. The fact that she was invited to be the sole examiner for three Helsinki PhD theses (those of James Summers, Anne-Charlotte Martineau and Paolo Amorosa) testifies to the degree we wanted to introduce our young researchers to her as a warm and intelligent academic and an exemplary teacher with an astonishing breadth of interests. We felt ourselves especially privileged when she decided to accept the invitation to stay here in Helsinki with her partner Ralph, as a visiting chair at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies for an almost full year in 2020-21. This gave us ample opportunity to enjoy her wisdom, the width of her knowledge, her skills as a storyteller and listener, a sharp-eyed but always generous commentator on the widest scale of cultural and political phenomena. There was no one else in the international legal world like her; her presence and her input were unique. We will always miss her.
Päivi, Jan, Martti and the rest of ECI fellows and staff