Elisabeth Thuesen Orbituary


Elisabeth Thuesen (1936-2023)

Abraham Lincoln once said: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”. On 6th December 2023, Elisabeth left us. If anything should be learned from the Lincoln quote, Elisabeth indeed took that to heart: a model example of living life, and thus not a life that easily can be described in a few lines in this obituary.

Elisabeth came to CBS – then ‘Handelshøjskolen’ – in 1968 where she was with the Centre of European Market Law that eventually became the Law Department. She had a background with languages, a law degree from Copenhagen University, and a keen interest in culture which in her academic life also would prove useful and inspiring. Although Elisabeth published in and taught law of commercial agents, it was really the field of law that related to culture that interested her. That also made her connect with other departments at CBS, where she ran courses on culture and the law, as well as connection to the outside world. For example, Elisabeth got in contact with a circus and made an agreement: she would write an article about the circus from a market law perspective and the Law Department would get free tickets to the circus. An agreement the Law Department would benefit from for several years. Furthermore, Elisabeth’s language skills combined with her cultural interest were also reflected in her play with words: the Danish word ‘ret’ has several meanings in English: one is ‘dish’, another is ‘right’ or ‘law’. For Elisabeth it was a natural thing to write the article ‘Mad-ret: synsvinkler på måltidets jura’ (Dish-law: perspectives on the law of the dish’). Elisabeth’s interest in culture was also reflected in her life outside of CBS. For example, she enjoyed travelling to visit historical places in Europe, and she was interested in Renaissance and Baroque dance and music: an interest she continued with until the end. However, the music interest was also taken to CBS where she was a key figure in establishing and running the CBS choir with the aim of bringing international and Danish students as well as staff together. Not so much for the singing skills of the staff/students but for the joy of social connection with the music at the centre. And perhaps that is the most important tale of Elisabeth: the social connection with other people where she put others before herself. From the support of new staff to the students, and in general the well-being of people involved with CBS Law, Elisabeth always had—or took—the time to be there for others. She was indeed an inspiration on how to live and enjoy life. Her engagement and focus of the well-being of people at CBS Law continued after her retirement in 2012, and she would every February come and celebrate ‘fastelavn’ (Shrovetide) by bringing ‘fastelavnsboller’ (Shrovetide buns) to CBS Law. Although we aim to continue Elisabeth’s tradition with the fastelavnsboller at CBS Law, and she hopefully will be there in spirit, it will never be the same again. We will miss her.   

Henrik Andersen, Director of CBS Law

Sidst opdateret: CBS LAW // 14/02/2024