Athens - Gabriel Michael Wilner, Professor of Law at the University of Georgia, died unexpectedly at his home on Friday, May 21, 2010.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 40 years, Gisele Gabrielle Desmedt Wilner; and his nephews, Serge of London, England, and Axel, Yvan and Julien of Brussels, Belgium, and their wives and children.
Beloved professor, mentor and friend, he inspired hundreds of students with his love for the law, international principles of engagement and cultural understanding. Professor Wilner was the Charles H. Kirbo Professor of International Law and the Associate Dean and Executive Director of Graduate Legal Studies at the University of GeorgiaÕs Dean Rusk Center for International Law and an internationalist who strove to open the world to his students.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1938 to Abraham and Rebecca Wilner, Professor Wilner had lived in the United States, France, Belgium, Brazil, Ecuador and India. After receiving his undergraduate degree from William & Mary College, he studied at the University of Exeter in England, got his L.L.B. and LL.M at Columbia University in New York and did his graduate legal studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He was admitted to the Bars of the State of New York and the District of Columbia.
His law practice experience included work at the United Nations, the Legal Department of the American Arbitration Association and at a private law office in Brussels. He taught at the University of Florida, Emory University and the University of Georgia, as well as the Université de Jean Moulin in Lyon, France, at IMEDE in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at the University of Turin, Italy. He initiated and directed the Masters of Law Program at the University of Georgia and instituted the Brussels Seminar on European Law, a program for American students which is in its 37th year of operation.
He directed numerous law programs and seminars in many parts of the world. A member of the American Society of International Law Association and the American Bar Association, Professor Wilner was the author of numerous law publications and served on several advisory boards of publications such as the Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce and the Columbia Journal of International Law.
A memorial service for Professor Wilner will be held at the Bernstein Funeral Home in Athens, Ga., on Friday, May 28, 2010, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, his family suggests a donation to the National Kidney Foundation
, 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.
Online condolences may be offered at www.bernsteinfuneralhome.com.
Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published by Athens Banner-Herald on May 25, 2010.