In memoriam Keebet von Benda-Beckmann
We are deeply saddened that our dear friend and colleague Keebet von Benda-Beckmann passed away suddenly on Wednesday 5 October.
Keebet was a generous and gifted scholar, who made an enormous contribution to the field of legal pluralism and the anthropology of law. Together with her beloved late husband, Franz, she conducted and supervised field research in the Netherlands, Nepal and Indonesia. As a professor at the Max Planck Institute in Halle, Germany, she helped shape the field of the anthropology of law from a comparative perspective, and she continued to teach and collaborate in research for the rest of her life.
She was one of the founder members of the Commission on Legal Pluralism and served on the Commission’s Executive Body until now, including as the President from 1997 to 2003. Keebet also contributed many important articles to the Commission’s Journal of Legal Pluralism and taught many times on the biennial International Course on Legal Pluralism. We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with her at the International Course on Legal Pluralism in Lisbon this summer, and that she again inspired the next generation of legal pluralism scholars through her teaching on that course.
Keebet was a sincere and warm person, who throughout her long career was always willing to help (young) colleagues in the field. She has been a teacher, mentor and inspiration for many of us and the ‘mother of Indonesian legal anthropology’. We will miss her dearly.
On behalf of the Executive Body of the Commission and our members, we express our deepest condolences to Keebet’s family and our thanks for all that she gave to our academic community.