Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


How did it come about that Hersch Lauterpacht, the Whewell Professor of International Law in Cambridge, achieved the distinction of being considered by the Foreign Office as not quite "sound" on human rights? The story begins at a 1942 meeting of the Grotius Society, the only British intellectual institution then existing that brought together academics and practitioners.

The following essay is based on the Lauterpacht Memorial Lecture that the author delivered last fall at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. A version of this essay also is forthcoming as "Hersch Lauterpacht and the Invention of the Age of Human Rights" in 119 Vol.1 Law Quarterly Review (January 2004). Hersch Lauterpacht, who died in 1960, was a Cambridge professor and reowned international law scholar whose ideas influenced worldwide development of notins of human rights.