George P. Smith II

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George P. Smith, II
George smith iu.jpg
(Artist: Robert Bruce Williams, 1996)
Born (1939-09-01)September 1, 1939
Wabash, Indiana
Education Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington
Occupation Professor of Law Emeritus
Employer Catholic University of America

George P. Smith, II, is an internationally recognized scholar and lecturer and a Professor Emeritus of Law at The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law.[1][2] The 1996 graduating class of the Columbus Law School selected Professor Smith as the Class Marshall – This, in recognition of the high regard in which they held him. In a rich career of some fifty years in teaching and in public service—39 years of which were spent at Catholic University—Smith retired from active teaching in 2016. Since 1977, he has taught courses in Property Law, Land Use, Environmental Law, Bioethics, and Public Health Law.[3] His path-breaking scholarship in 1968 on artificial insemination and the law[4] established him as an early insightful frontiersman in the then-emerging field of Bioethics or Law, Science and Medicine.[5] Today, Professor Smith continues his scholarly research and writing in the field of International Human Rights at the Indiana University Institute of Advanced Study as a Residential Fellow.[6]

Education and Career[edit]

Born on September 1, 1939, in Wabash, Indiana, of pioneer stock,[7] Smith's father and uncle were prominent practicing attorneys in Wabash.[8]

Smith received his elementary education at the St. Bernard School in Wabash and graduated from Wabash High School in 1957, where he was a member of the National Honor Society.[9] He received his B.S. degree in Business – Economics and Public Policy from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1961[10] and was awarded a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, as well, from the University in 1964, and was a member of the Indiana Law Review.[11] He went on to receive a Certificate from The Hague Academie de Droit International for his studies at the Peace Palace in The Netherlands during the summer of 1965. In 1975, Smith was awarded an LL.M. degree in law from Columbia University where he held a University Fellowship during his residency. During 1976-77, he was the Senior Commonwealth Fellow in Law, Science and Medicine at Yale Law School.

Indiana University conferred its Silver Medallion upon Smith in 1985 as a Distinguished Service Alumnus,[12] and in 1998 an LL. D. degree, honoris causa, was conferred upon him.[13] In 1998, a Distinguished Professorship-Chair was established in Smith's honor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.[14] The School of Law, again, in 2007, honored Smith by inducting him into the Indiana Academy of Law Alumni Fellows –this, in recognition of his professional contributions to the legal profession.[15] In 2008, a Fellowship in the LL.M. program was created in his honor by the Indiana University School of Law.

Professional Contributions[edit]

Over the years, Smith's early reputation as a thoughtful scholar and lecturer has been fortified by his insightful global lectures, national and international academic appointments, his public service and teaching experiences, and his scholarship which has—in turn—both informed and guided contemporary debates on the parameters and perimeters of what has been termed the "New Biology."[16] He has been recognized widely for these achievements.[17] In 1984, Smith was awarded a prestigious Australian-American Award and served as the Fulbright Visiting Professor of Law and Medical Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Under the title of "1984: A Brave or a Confused New World?", Smith delivered seven Fulbright Lectures throughout the Australian continent during his Fulbright residency.

Since that initial visit to Australia, Smith has returned regularly to hold academic and research appointments in law faculties at The Australian National University, Macquarie University, Monash University, University of Queensland, University of Sydney and University of New South Wales as well as at University of Auckland and University of Otago.[18]

Consultantships and Public Service[edit]

  • Member, Board of Directors, Center for Health Governance, Law and Ethics, University of Sydney Law School, Australia, 2008-2012
  • Member, Board of Patrons, Center for the Study of Religion and Politics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 2007-2012
  • Consultant, International Bioethics Committee, UNESCO Declaration on The Protection of The Human Genome, Paris, France, 1995-1997
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Medical Practice and The Law, England, 1991-2009
  • Founding Editor and Faculty Advisor, The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, Catholic University School of Law, 1984-2015
  • Consultant, New South Wales Law Reform Commission, Australia, 1982-1988
  • Member, Institutional Review Board, Catholic University, 1982-1992
  • Consultant, The Heritage Foundation, U.N. Assessment Study, 1982-1983
  • Member, The President's Private Sector Study on Cost Control (Air Force Task Force), 1982-1983
  • Special Consulting Counsel, House Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. Congress, 1981-1987
  • American Bar Association Journal Press Representative, U.N. Law of the Sea Conference, Geneva, Spring 1976
  • Consultant, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, 1975-1982
  • American Bar Association Journal Press Representative, U.N. Law of the Sea Conference, Stockholm, June 1972
  • Special Counsel for Environmental Affairs, Office of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, Arkansas, 1969-1971
  • Member of Governor Rockefeller's Special Committee on Toxic Substances, Arkansas, 1970-1971
  • Member of Governor Rockefeller's Inland Waterway Committee, Arkansas, 1969-1971
  • Consultant to the Arkansas Planning Commission, 1969-1971

Pro Bono[edit]

  • Brief Amicus Curiae, Margaret Heckler, (Otis Bowen) Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services v. American Hospital Association, et al., filed September 1985 (case decision: 476 U.S. 610 (1986)).[19]
  • Brief Amici Curiae, Environmental Defense Fund, Ozark Society, Audubon Society, et al. v. Corps. of Engineers, et al., brief filed February 1971 (case decision: 325 F. Supp. 728 (E.D. Ark. 1971)).[20]

Honors and Distinctions[edit]

In 1970, Winthrop Rockefeller, then-Governor of Arkansas, conferred an Arkansas Traveler Citation of Honor[21] upon Smith for his distinguished accomplishments in public service in the State.

In 1974, Smith received a Citation of Merit for Distinguished Service from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

In 2015, then-Governor Michael R. Pence conferred the Sagamore of the Wabash Citation upon Smith for his professional lifetime achievements. That same year, he was also inducted into the Wabash High School Hall of Distinction for "outstanding accomplishments in life."[22]


Smith received the Gitzler Prize for his original scholarship entitled, "Biological Determinism and Genetic Discrimination" at the Tenth World Congress on Medical Law in Jerusalem, Israel in August, 1994.

Judge Richard A. Posner, a member of the United States Court of Appeals for The Seventh Circuit and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, acknowledged Smith as "one of the world's leading experts on the legal and ethical issues raised by modern medicine" and observed that "he writes with insight and authority, and offers a perspective that will influence policy debates".[23] Dr. Edmund D. Pellegrino, John Carroll Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Georgetown University and former Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, recognized Smith as "an internationally acclaimed scholar and pioneer in cultivating the interdisciplinary study of questions in which law, medical ethics and bioethics intersect."[24] In inaugurating the George P. Smith, II, Distinguished Professorship-Chair of Law at Indiana University in January, 2000, Justice Michael D. Kirby of the High Court of Australia, paid tribute to Smith's "awesome" level of transnational scholarship in Bioethics and his "indefatigable spirit and sense of total commitment as a questioning, inquisitive mind" and proceeded to herald Smith as a "prescient prophet of the New Biology."[13] Later in 2009, Justice Kirby hailed Smith's "commitment to universalism" and "his voracious appetite for wisdom in the exploration of legal and bioethical question... beyond the United States."[25]

Early in his career, in 1985, the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University in Bloomington presented Smith with a Citation of Honor for his pathbreaking interdisciplinary research and writing on medical and biological issues as they relate to the norms of law and ethics.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of his career in legal education in 1989, United States Congressman John T. Myers paid tribute to Smith's years of distinguished service to the legal profession.[26] As well, the editors of the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy published his bibliography of scholarship in Law, Science and Medicine.[27]

In 1988, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, Smith was recognized for his professional contributions to Law and Medical Science by induction into the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.[28] Similar recognition was given to Smith in 1974 by his election to membership in The Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.[29] Smith is also a life member of the prestigious American Law Institute.[30]

Research Affiliations[edit]

Over his career, Smith has had research affiliations with over 100 institutions, including: Columbia University's Center for the Study of Society and Medicine; the University of Chicago's Center for Clinical Medical Ethics; Princeton University's Theological Seminary; Harvard's Petrie-Flom Center; University of Virginia's Center for Biomedical Ethics; the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg; the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University; the Lauterpacht Center for International Law at Cambridge University; the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; Yale's Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy; the Yale School of Divinity; the Rockefeller Institution in Bellagio, Italy; the University of Sydney's Center for Health Governance, Law and Ethics; the University of St. Andrew's Center for the Study of Religion and Politics; and the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Ethics at Georgetown University.

Personal life[edit]

Smith lives in Washington, D.C., in Georgetown and is unmarried. An avid reader, bibliophile and socially prominent supporter of the Arts,[31] Smith has acknowledged friends and teachers who have had a positive influence in his life by establishing book collections to honor them. To that end, collections honoring Professor Sir David and Lady Williams and Professor Sir Derek Bowett at the University of Cambridge Squire Law Library have been formed. As well, a collection honoring the memories of Dr. W. Taylor Reveley, II, President Emeritus of Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, and his wife Marie Eason Reveley, has been established at the Bortz Library at the College. The Wabash Carnegie Public Library in Indiana houses collections honoring three teachers form Wabash High School who had a transformative influence of Smith: Martha Biggerstaff Jones, Ruth A. Jones, and Mildred E. Hipskind. Additionally, Smith played a prominent role in establishing an endowed professorship at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University – Bloomington, honoring the late Professor Harry Pratter.

In 2017, the Maurer School of Law announced that Smith had endowed a professorship in his name. The George P. Smith, II Distinguished Professorship is currently held by Robert L. Fischman, a noted environmental law scholar.[32]


  1. ^ 2010–2011,The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. ANNOUNCEMENTS at p. 26
  2. ^ The Association of American Law Schools Directory of Law Teachers (2009-101) at p. 1292.
  3. ^ See Board of Editors, Dedicatory Issues honoring Professor George P. Smith's Professional Contributions, 2 JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LAW AND POLICY 1 (1986); 25 JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LAW AND POLICY 1 (2009). See also Congressman John Hiler Tribute to Professor Smith, 132 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 12516 (Permanent Edition, June 4, 1986).
  4. ^ George P. Smith, II, "Through a Test Tube Darkly: Artificial Insemination and The Law," 67 MICH. L. REV. 127—150 (1968).
  5. ^ See Raymond C. O'Brien, "The World of Law, Science, and Medicine According to George P. Smith, II," 8 JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LAW AND POLICY 163—182 (1992).
  6. ^ Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study,
  7. ^ YEARBOOK OF THE SOCIETY OF INDIANA PIONEERS, Centennial Edition II (2016-2017) at p. 177.
  8. ^ 1976 WABASH COUNTY BICENTENNIAL 314—15 (Linda Robertson ed., 1976).
  9. ^ 43 SYCAMORE 57 (1957), Wabash High School Yearbook.
  10. ^ 68 ARBUTUS 194 (1961), Indiana University Yearbook.
  11. ^ 71 ARBUTUS 271 (1964), Indiana University Yearbook.
  12. ^ Congressman Frank McCloskey Tribute to Professor Smith, 131 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 17950 (Permanent Edition, June 27, 1985).
  13. ^ a b Indiana University 169th Commencement Program, May 9, 1998, at p. 12. See also CONTACT, Catholic University Law School Alumni Magazine, at p. 25, Spring/Summer 1998.
  14. ^ See Michael D. Kirby, Inaugural Lecture, "The New Biology and International Sharing Lessons from The Life and Works of George P. Smith, II," establishing the George P. Smith, II, Distinguished Professorship-Chair, and published in 7 INDIANA JOURNAL OF GLOBAL STUDIES 425, 426, 445 (2000).
  15. ^ INDIANA ALUMNI MAGAZINE (Oct. 2007) at p. 50.
  16. ^ See George P. Smith, II, THE NEW BIOLOGY: LAW, ETHICS AND BIOTECHNOLOGY, Plenum Press (1989).
  17. ^ Link to George P. Smith's CV:
  18. ^ See "About the Author" in George P. Smith, II, Human Rights and Biomedicine (2001).
  19. ^ Bowen v. American Hospital Association, 476 U.S. 610 (1986),
  20. ^ Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. Corps of Engineers of the U.S. Army, 325 F. Supp. 728 (E.D. Ark. 1971),
  21. ^ Arkansas Traveler (honorary title),
  22. ^ Class Notes: "Wabash City Schools Hall of Distinction Inducts George P. Smith, II", ERGO 37, p. 73 (Mar. 2016).
  23. ^ Richard A. Posner, book jacket cover comment to George P. Smith, II, DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE AND THE NEW MEDICINE, Edgar Press (20008).
  24. ^ Edmund D. Pellegrino, "Dedicatory Remarks," 25 JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LAW AND POLICY (2009).
  25. ^ Michael D. Kirby, "Human Rights and Bioethics: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UNESCO Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights," 25 JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LAW AND POLICY 309, 311 (2009).
  26. ^ Congressman John T. Myers Tribute to Professor Smith, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 24550 (Permanent Edition, October 12, 1989).
  27. ^ George P. Smith, II A Bibliographic Tribute, 6 JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LAW AND POLICY 483-493 (1990).
  28. ^ Membership Directory, The American Society and the Priory of the United States of America of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (2008) at p. 73.
  29. ^ The Cosmos Club Directory, Washington, D.C. (2010) at p. 71.
  30. ^ American Law Institute Annual Program and Directory of Membership (2010), at p. 49.
  31. ^ The Social List of the Washington, D.C. (Thomas J. Murray, ed. 2011) at p. 389; The Social Register (2010) at p. 751, New York, New York.
  32. ^ "Inaugural Smith Lecture Focuses on Environmental Law," ergo, Winter 2017, Indiana University Maurer School of Law,, accessed January 11, 2018.

External links[edit]