Hersch Lauterpacht

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Hersch Lauterpacht
Hersch lauterpacht.jpg
Born (1897-08-16)16 August 1897
Zhovkva, Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
Died 8 May 1960(1960-05-08) (aged 62)
London, England
Occupation Judge of the international court of justice

Sir Hersch Lauterpacht QC (16 August 1897 – 8 May 1960) was a member of the United Nations' International Law Commission from 1952 to 1954 and a Judge of the International Court of Justice from 1955 to 1960. In the words of former ICJ President Stephen M. Schwebel, Judge Sir Hersch Lauterpacht's "attainments are unsurpassed by any international lawyer of this century [...] he taught and wrote with unmatched distinction".[1] Sir Hersch's writings and (concurring and dissenting) opinions continue, nearly 50 years after his death, to be cited frequently in briefs, judgments, and advisory opinions of the World Court. He famously said "international law is at the vanishing point of law."[2]

The Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom is named after him. His son, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, CBE, QC, who founded the Centre, was its first director and remains actively involved in its work as Director Emeritus and an Honorary Professor of International Law.

He obtained a PhD degree from the London School of Economics in 1925, writing his dissertation on Private Law Sources and Analogies of International Law, published in 1927.[3]

Samuel Moyn has suggested that Lauterpacht was one of the few international lawyers actively campaigning for human rights in the late 1940s, and that he had "denounced the Universal Declaration as a shameful defeat of the ideals it grandly proclaimed."[4]

Major works[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ S.M. Schwebel, International Arbitration: Three Salient Problems, xiii (Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures 1987)
  2. ^ William Elliott Butler (1991). Control Over Compliance With International Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 195. ISBN 0-7923-1025-X. 
  3. ^ http://www.judicialmonitor.org/archive_1206/leadingfigures.html
  4. ^ Moyn, Samuel (2014). Human rights and the uses of history. New York: Verso. ISBN 9781781682630. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Koskenniemi, Martti (2004). "Hersch Lauterpacht (1897–1960)". In Beatson, J.; Zimmermann, R. Jurists Uprooted: German-speaking Émigré Lawyers in Twentieth-century Britain. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 601–661. ISBN 0-19-927058-9. 
  • Marrus, Michael R. "Three Roads From Nuremberg", Tablet magazine; Nov. 20, 2015.

External links[edit]