Siegfried Wiessner

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Siegfried Wiessner
Education Master of Laws (LL.M.)
1983 (Yale)
Doctor of Law (Dr. iur.)
1989 (University of Tübingen)
Occupation Professor of Law and Founder & Director, Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights, St. Thomas University School of Law
Organization International Law Association
Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Chair, 2008-2012
Nominated and Preceded by Professor S. James Anaya
European University Institute
Florence, Italy
Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow, Fall 2009
City University of Hong Kong School of Law
Visiting Professor of Law
October 2009 & November 2010
The American Society of International Law
Executive Council
Member, 2007-2010
UN/UNITAR International Law Fellowship Program
Lecturer, 1997-2000
Known for ILA Resolution No. 5/2012 on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Awards Lawyers to the Rescue
Law Professor of the Year Award
March 14, 2013

Siegfried Wiessner (born 26 February 1953 in Germany) is a Professor of Law and the Founder and Director of St. Thomas University’s Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights in Miami, Florida.[1] He holds a law degree (1977) as well as a Dr. iur. (1989) from the University of Tübingen, Germany, and an LL.M. from the Yale Law School (1982). In 1986, he was elected member of the International Institute of Space Law. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Martinus Nijhoff’s Studies in Intercultural Human Rights. From 1997 to 2000, he was a Lecturer at the UN/UNITAR International Law Fellowship Program. In October 2009 and November 2010, he served as Visiting Professor of Law at the City University of Hong Kong. In fall 2009, he was a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. From 2007 to 2010, he was a member of the Executive Council of The American Society of International Law. From 2008 to 2012, he served as the Chair of the International Law Association’s Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Professor Wiessner teaches U.S. Constitutional Law and International Law. He has published widely in the fields of constitutional law, international law, human rights, international indigenous law, the law of armed conflict, arbitration, space law and refugee law. In 1989, he published a book on the function of nationality,[2] and he is the co-author, with Michael Reisman of the Yale Law School, of a leading casebook on international law, International Law in Contemporary Perspective (2004).[3] Throughout his life, Professor Wiessner has pushed the envelope in favor of social justice, protection of the poor and marginalized. In Germany, as a young lawyer in 1980, he safeguarded the due process rights of asylum seekers through a novel interpretation of the country’s constitution[4] which was, in essence, adopted by the country’s Federal Constitutional Court.[5] Coming to Yale Law School in 1982, he was immersed in that institution’s distinctive problem-oriented approach to law, saw it as a liberation from the straitjacket of positivism, and redefined the role of the lawyer as leader and problem solver in society, a “doctor of the social order.” By taking into account conflicting claims, past trends in decision and evaluating past decisions in light of a public order of human dignity, he suggests developing decisions best suited to maximize access by all to all things humans value. He applied this “New Haven Approach”[6] to issues of mass atrocities[7] as well as conflicts over the allocation of resources.[8]

His main contribution to an order of human dignity worldwide has been, as of yet, his research on, and subsequent development of, the law regarding the rights and status of indigenous peoples. He first made the argument, laid out in the Harvard Human Rights Journal in 1999, that customary international law protects indigenous peoples’ rights to land, their cultural traditions, and self-government.[9] As Chair of the International Law Association’s Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples he led 30 experts from around the globe to a thorough review of this position, culminating in the organization’s emphatic approval of Resolution No. 5/2012[10] confirming those rights to their lands, culture and autonomy at its meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria in August 2012.

His other abiding achievement is the creation of the Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights, founded in 2001. This combination of a unique and most successful LL.M. Program with a highly selective J.S.D. program requiring publication of students’ theses has made St. Thomas known and respected globally and locally. Many graduates of the program are now working in the field and transporting values of human dignity. In the 303 students graduating from the LL.M. program so far, it sent out “warriors for dignity” who are confidently using the arms of the law and other peaceful instruments to bring about positive change in all four corners of the world. On March 14, 2013, Professor Wiessner received the Law Professor of the Year Award by the humanitarian organization Lawyers to the Rescue.

Selected Works[edit]

Die Funktion der Staatsangehörigkeit [The Function of Nationality] (Tübingen University Press, 1989), 414 pp.

International Law in Contemporary Perspective (Casebook,Foundation Press 2004), with W. Michael Reisman, Mahnoush Arsanjani and Gayl Westerman,1584 pp.

Looking to the Future: Essays on International Law in Honor of W. Michael Reisman (Editor, with Mahnoush Arsanjani, Jacob Katz Cogan & Robert D. Sloane, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2011), 1100 pp.

Asylverweigerung ohne Anerkennungsverfahren, 7 Europäische Grundrechte-Zeitschrift 473-479 (1980).

The Public Order of the Geostationary Orbit: Blueprints for the Future, 9 Yale J. World Pub. Order 217-274 (1983[1985]).

Rights and Status of Indigenous Peoples: A Global Comparative and International Legal Perspective, 12 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 57-128 (1999).

Policy-Oriented Jurisprudence and Human Rights Abuses in Internal Conflict: Toward a World Public Order of Human Dignity, 93 Am. J. Int’l L. 316-334 (1999), with Andrew R. Willard.

The New Haven School: A Brief Introduction,32 Yale J. Int’l L. 575-582 (2007), with W. Michael Reisman and Andrew R. Willard.

The New Haven School of Jurisprudence: A Universal Toolkit for Understanding and Shaping the Law, 18 Asia Pacific L. Rev. 45-61 (2010).

The Cultural Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Achievements and Continuing Challenges, 22 Eur. J.Int’l L. 121-140 (2011).

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.stu.edu/ProfSiegfriedWiessner/tabid/1389/Default.aspx
  2. ^ Siegfried Wiessner, Die Funktion der Staatsangehörigkeit (Tübingen University Press, 1989).
  3. ^ W. Michael Reisman, Mahnoush Arsanjani, Siegfried Wiessner and Gayl Westerman, International Law in Contemporary Perspective (Foundation Press 2004).
  4. ^ Siegfried Wiessner, Asylverweigerung ohne Anerkennungsverfahren, 7 Europäische Grundrechte-Zeitschrift 473-479 (1980).
  5. ^ BVerfGE 56, 216.
  6. ^ W. Michael Reisman, Siegfried Wiessner and Andrew R. Willard, The New Haven School: A Brief Introduction, 32 Yale J. Int’l L. 575-582 (2007); Siegfried Wiessner, The New Haven School of Jurisprudence: A Universal Toolkit for Understanding and Shaping the Law, 18 Asia Pacific L. Rev. 45-61 (2010).
  7. ^ Siegfried Wiessner and Andrew R. Willard, Policy-Oriented Jurisprudence and Human Rights Abuses in Internal Conflict: Toward a World Public Order of Human Dignity, 93 Am. J. Int’l L. 316-334 (1999).
  8. ^ Siegfried Wiessner, The Public Order of the Geostationary Orbit: Blueprints for the Future, 9 Yale J. World Pub. Order 217-274 (1983[1985]).
  9. ^ Siegfried Wiessner, Rights and Status of Indigenous Peoples: A Global Comparative and International Legal Perspective, 12 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 57-128 (1999). See also, S. James Anaya and Siegfried Wiessner, The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:Towards Re-empowerment, JURIST Forum, Oct. 3, 2007; Siegfried Wiessner, Introductory Note, General Assembly Resolution 61/295 of 13 September 2007 (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law, Historical Archives; Siegfried Wiessner, Indigenous Sovereignty: A Reassessment in Light of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 41 Vanderbilt J. Transnational L. 1141 (2008); Siegfried Wiessner, The Cultural Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Achievements and Continuing Challenges, 22 Eur. J. Int’l L. 121-140 (2011); and Siegfried Wiessner, Re-Enchanting the World: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights as Essential Parts of a Holistic Human Rights Regime, 15 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 239-288 (2010 [2012]).
  10. ^ ILA Resolution No. 5/2012 on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, August 30, 2012, 75th ILA Biennial Meeting, Sofia, Bulgaria, to be read in conjunction with the Committee’s 2010 Interim Report and its 2012 Final Report. See, http://www.ila-hq.org/en/committees/index.cfm/cid/1024.