Human Rights and Genocide: The Work of Lauterpacht and Lemkin in Modern International Law

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
The European Journal of International Law, 2009, 20 (4), pp. 1163 - 1194
Issue Date:
2009-01
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2008 marked the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Genocide Convention and Uni versal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly. These two instruments adopted and proclaimed by the then newly formed world body on successive days, 9 and 10 December 1948 respectively, represent two sides of one coin. Born of the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s, the United Nations Charter speaks of human rights and to the import­ ance of the rule of law. The Genocide Convention and UDHR are integral to the pursuit of these aims. The work of two international lawyers, Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin, whose personal and familial histories traverse the tragedies of 20th century Europe, was instrumental in the realization of these twin efforts. This article examines their respective contributions to contemporary international law by concentrating on their European experi ence from their youth in Central Europe and the early days of the League of Nations to their mature work up to and including the Nuremberg Judgment.
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