New Biography of Hersch Lauterpacht

April 8, 2011

A new biography of Hersch Lauterpacht entitled, The Life of Sir Hersch Lauterpacht QC, FBA, LLD,  is written by his devoted son, Elihu Lauterpacht, an international law scholar in his own right, and Reader and Lecturer at Cambridge. Elihu had previously published his father’s papers over a twenty-five year period in five volumes. The new biography is enhanced by twenty-four pages of plates and many extracts of correspondence. There is a bibliography of Lauterpacht’s published writings, a bibliography of writings about him, a list of obituaries, and a chronology of significant events in his life, as well as a detailed index to the book.

Hersch Lauterpacht

(photograph from the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law)

Born in Austria-Hungary in 1897, Hersch moved to England in the early 1920’s. After teaching at the London School of Economics, he assumed the Whewell Chair at Trinity College, Cambridge, to teach International Law in 1937. After the war he was involved in the prosecution of Michael Joyce, aka Lord Haw-Haw, and the major Nazi war criminals. He served on the United Nations International Law Commission 1952 to 1954 and as judge of the International Court of Justice from 1955 until his death in 1960. In 1956 he was knighted.

Herscht wrote numerous books on international legal topics and edited several editions of Lassa Oppenheim’s classic, International Law. He also led a very engaging life as a practitioner.  He create  International Law Reports (formerly Annual Digest  and Reports of International Law Cases; also available online), an on-going collection of cases from around the world.

                                                                                              ----- Daniel Wade

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