From the Nuremberg Trials to Now, Philippe Sands Examines International Law’s Development

A frame of the UN film on the UDHR A frame of the UN film on the UDHR

13 December 2018

Philippe Sands, Professor of Law at University College London and practising barrister at Matrix Chambers, was invited by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Geneva Academy for a public conference to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Genocide Convention.

The lecture closed a scientific symposium co-organized by the Department of International History of the Graduate Institute and the Geneva Academy, which brought together jurists and historians to debate and confront critical approaches and views on the UDHR.

Building upon his research on two prominent founders of contemporary international law (Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin) and his own family’s experience, Philippe Sands explained how, starting from the Nuremberg Trials of 1945-1946, international law has developed by protecting at the same time the individual (according to Lauterpacht's vision) and the group, with the success of Lemkin's endeavour towards a convention on the prevention and prohibition of genocide.

‘The ideas and endeavours of Lauterpacht and Lemkin influenced politics, history, culture, my life and yours’, said Professor Sands. ‘The concepts of ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’ have entered our world, although many are under the impression that they have existed since time immemorial. They have not: both are the product of creative and inventive minds, two men driven by their own experiences forged on the anvil of a single city.’

The Individual and the Group: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention at 70

This public lecture by Professor Philippe Sands, which closed the public symposium on ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Historical and Juridical Perspectives’, examined, from the Nuremberg Trials until now, the development of international law.

 

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

View of the UN Human Rights Council News

New Book Provides a Unique Practitioner’s Insight into the Work of the UN Human Rights Council

4 May 2020

The new book The Human Rights Council: A Practical Anatomy by Eric Tistounet, Chief of the Human Rights Council Branch at OHCHR, is the outcome of a six-months research fellowship carried out by the author at the Geneva Academy.

Read more

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN in Geneva (room of the UN Human Rights Council News

UN Secretary General Refers to our Work in his Latest Report on the Status of the Human Rights Treaty Body System

7 February 2020

In his latest report to the UN General Assembly on the status of the human rights treaty body system, António Guterres refers to our work on the future of UN treaty bodies.

Read more

Event

Right On: Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists in Times of Crisis

4 June 2020, 16:00-17:30

Join us online to discuss challenges for the right to access to information in times when most governments need to come up with strategies to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more

Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

12 October - 29 November 2020

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en oeuvre.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

2-6 November 2020

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Started in April 2019

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.

Read more

Data connections with a man's shadow on the back Project

HUMAN RIGHTS, BIG DATA AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

Started in May 2016

We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.

Read more

Cover page of the Annual Report 2019 Publication

Annual Report 2019

published on May 2020

Read more