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Alfred Rubin Papers

Call Number: MS242

Scope and Contents

This collection contains course files and reading lists for Law 200-217, taught by Alfred Rubin at the Fletcher School, from approximately 1974 through 1984; subject files on the International Law Association, including International Law Weekend from 1978 through 1981, and other subject files; as well as manuscripts, drafts, and papers written and given by Rubin on various topics in international law.


  • Creation: circa 1970 -- 1989



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Peter Rubin (1931-2014) was a professor of International Law at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University for over 30 years. He was appointed to the Fletcher School in 1973 and retired in 2007.

Alfred P. Rubin was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 31, 1931. He received his B.A. in 1952 and his J.D. in 1957, both from Columbia University. He was a nationally ranked foil fencer while in college. He won the Eastern College Athletic Conference Foils Championship in 1952, and was a member of the U.S. Olympics squad 1956, although not on the final team. Between 1952 and 1955, Rubin served as an officer in the Navy, where he spent two years stationed in Japan. For his post-graduate studies, Rubin attended Jesus College at Cambridge University in England, earning an M.Litt degree. While at Jesus College, Mr. Rubin was a tutor in International Law and related subjects. He also met his future wife, Susanne (nee Frowein), while at Cambridge. The two married in 1960.

Rubin began his career as an attorney-advisor in 1961 at the Office of Assistant General Counsel for the Department of Defense, later advancing in 1966 to the position of Director of Trade Control in the Office of the Assistant secretary of Defense. In 1967, he took an appointment at the University Of Oregon Law School, where he taught as an associate professor and professor of law until he was appointed to the Fletcher School in 1973 as a professor of International Law.

At the Fletcher School, Rubin’s course on the Introduction to Public International Law was one of the most popular classes for many years . Other courses that he taught during his time at Fletcher include: International Environmental Law, European Community Law, International Humanitarian Law, and U.S. Foreign Relations Law. Rubin was named a Distinguished Professor of International Law in the fall of 1991. On May 23, 1993, he was awarded the first annual James L. Paddock Cup for Teaching Excellence by vote of the student council. The Alfred P. Rubin Prize in International Law for students who are distinguished in their studies of the field was created by the Fletcher School in his name in the fall of 2005. Rubin retired from the Fletcher School in 2007 .

Rubin’s academic achievements include sole authorship on the 4 following books: Piracy, Paramountcy and Protectorates (1974), The International Personality of the Malay Peninsula; A Study in the International Law of Imperialism (1974), The Law of Piracy (1998), and Ethics and Authority in International Law (1997). He also published numerous article, notes, reviews, and co-authored several books. In addition to his academic achievements, Rubin also contributed to many professional associations. Most notably, he became the vice president of the American Branch of the International Law Association in 1992, later advancing to president in 1994. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American National section of the International Association of Penal Law (Association internationale de Droit Pènal) from 1992 to 1997, and was a member of the State Department Advisory Council on international Law starting in 1996.

Alfred P. Rubin passed away on November 30, 2014 at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts at the age of 83.


1.8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains course files, subject files, and manuscripts, drafts, and papers created or collected by Alfred Rubin, professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Tufts University (1973-2007).


This collection is arranged in one series: Alfred Rubin Papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred by Ginn Library, 2018, accession MS-2018-052.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Leah Edelman in 2018. Materials were placed in archival boxes and loose materials were placed in folders where needed. Received order was maintained. A box-level inventory, series-level description, and finding aid were created at the time of preliminary processing.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States