rolin-jaequemyns in a traditional thai garment.
|born||31 january 1835|
|died||9 january 1902 (aged 66)|
|other names||chao phya abhai raja|
|occupation||lawyer, international law expert, minister of the interior, advisor to rama v|
|known for||founder of the institut de droit international|
gustave henri ange hippolyte rolin-jaequemyns (31 january 1835 – 9 january 1902) was a belgian attorney at law, diplomat and minister of the interior (1878–1884) as a member of the unitarian liberal party. together with the swiss jurist gustave moynier, he founded the institut de droit international and became its first honorary president.
even though his personal convictions were deeply religious, he is considered anticlerical because of his staunch defence of the separation of church and state. serving as an advisor to king rama v of thailand, he played a crucial role in the reformation of that country to modern western standards and was awarded the title chow phya abhai raja, the highest distinction ever granted to a foreigner.
rolin-jaequemyns' reputation as an expert on international law was widely recognized. he became a member of several national academies, for example 1870 in montreal, 1872 in madrid, in 1874 in belgium and 1881 in constantinople. in 1877, the university of edinburgh granted him the title of doctor honoris causa, and later he received the same distinction from the universities of cambridge, oxford and brussels. in 1889 king leopold ii of belgium appointed him member of the high council for the independent state of the congo free state.