John Gardner at Home

Memories from Mark van Hoecke

I met John the first time in 2005, when we invited him to deliver the inaugural lecture for the academic year 2005-2006 at the European Academy of Legal Theory on October 3rd. During the following dinner I discovered that I had known his brother, and sister in law, before him, at the occasion of my regular visits to their vinoteco Baldovino in Florence during my stay at the European University Institute in 2001-2002.

Later on John got increasingly involved in our Academy, most notably after the master course in legal theory moved from Brussels to Frankfurt. I have, for instance, excellent memories of the seminar he organised a few years ago at his former college and of the dinner he offered us in college. John did a lot for the European Academy of Legal Theory and we will miss him very much.

I understood from your messages that John took a similar view as Neil MacCormick when he knew he would die soon. Neil told me some month before his death ‘No worry, I had a nice and successful life”. Even if John died at a younger age – much too young – he also seems to have accepted his faith with a rather positive stance. I believe it was very important to him that he could finish his book.

John didn’t only have a successful scholarly life but also, and most importantly, a happy family life.