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Except for His Father

Isabel Hull: The Origins of Genocide, 16 June 2016

East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity 
by Philippe Sands.
Weidenfeld, 437 pp., £20, May 2016, 978 1 4746 0190 0
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... remarkably, Lemberg (or Lwów) law school trained three of the protagonists in this drama: Hersch Lauterpacht, a Cambridge academic and influential behind-the-scenes adviser at Nuremberg, who refined the concept of crimes against humanity and drafted much of the language in the indictments and prosecution arguments; Rafael Lemkin, who coined the word ...

Be careful what you wish for

Stephen Sedley: Human Rights Acts, 30 August 2018

The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics and the Origins of the European Convention 
by Marco Duranti.
Oxford, 502 pp., £59, February 2017, 978 0 19 981138 0
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... in Brussels, addressed by Churchill, at which the Belgian left turned out with leaflets asking why ex-Nazis were on the platform (the eventual inclusion of West Germany was part of the movement’s agenda) while ‘the victors of Stalingrad’ were not. The answer was plain enough: Europe, for the movement’s purposes, began at the Pyrenees and ended at the ...

Humanitarian Juggernaut

Alex de Waal, 22 June 1995

War and Law since 1945 
by Geoffrey Best.
Oxford, 434 pp., £25, October 1994, 0 19 821991 1
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Mercy under Fire: War and the Global Humanitarian Community 
by Larry Minear and Thomas Weiss.
Westview, 247 pp., £44.50, July 1995, 0 8133 2567 6
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... of the modern pursuit of legal restraint on warfare, opens with another aphorism, from Hersch Lauterpacht: ‘If international law is, in some ways’ at the vanishing-point of law, the law of war is, perhaps even more conspicuously, at the vanishing-point of international law.’ The remarkable thing is that Grotius’s remedy does exist. Despite the ...

Lines in the Sand

Keith Kyle, 7 February 1991

Saddam’s War: The Origins of the Kuwait Conflict and the International Response 
by John Bulloch and Harvey Morris.
Faber, 194 pp., £13.99, January 1991, 0 571 16387 4
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Unholy Babylon: The Secret History of Saddam’s War 
by Adel Darwish and Gregory Alexander.
Gollancz, 352 pp., £9.99, January 1991, 0 575 05054 3
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Cambridge International Document Series: Vol. 1 The Kuwait Crisis 
edited by E. Lauterpacht, C.J. Greenwood, Mark Weller and Daniel Bethlehem.
Grotius Publication, 330 pp., £35.17, January 1991, 0 949009 86 5
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Air Power and Colonial Control 
by David Omissi.
Manchester, 260 pp., £35, January 1990, 0 7190 2960 0
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... Of all the many guises in which Saddam Hussein has appeared before the Iraqi people and the world, the most surprising was that of the great white hope of Arab moderation. Formerly known as a rejectionist – a last-ditch opponent of a negotiated Palestine settlement – he emerged in 1987, under the strains of a war against Iran which he appeared to be losing, as a charter member of what the Jordanians were describing as ‘the great moderate centre ...

Anything Can Be Rescinded

Isabel Hull: When can you start a war?, 26 April 2018

The Internationalists and Their Plan to Outlaw War 
by Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro.
Allen Lane, 608 pp., £30, September 2017, 978 0 241 20070 4
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... to ‘come to the abandonment of the use of force’. The fourth figure they discuss is Hersch Lauterpacht, originally from Galicia but by 1937 Whewell Professor of International Law at Cambridge, who rigorously and successfully argued that the Kellogg-Briand Pact had overturned the basic structures of the international order. Neutrals were no longer bound ...

In Defence of Rights

Philippe Sands and Helena Kennedy, 3 January 2013

... by sections of his party who want a speedy referendum on whether the UK should remain within the EU, and many of his backbenchers make little distinction between the Council of Europe (and its Convention on Human Rights) and the EU, which is entirely distinct. Knowing that it would be economic madness to withdraw from the ...

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