UCL Faculty of Laws


Professor Philippe Sands QC talks about Hersch Lauterpacht’s work in a video for RightsInfo

21 November 2017

Philippe Sands

Professor Philippe Sands QC, Professor in Law at UCL Faculty of Laws, is featured in a video for RightsInfo’s ‘Fighting Hate with Human Rights’ Campaign.

The video focuses on Hersch Lauterpacht, Polish-British lawyer and judge at the International Court of Justice, whose worked laid the foundation of today’s international legal order.

The campaign includes a film around three survivors of genocide and the importance of human rights, which was launched on International Day of Tolerance, 16 November 2017.

Professor Sands QC said:

‘It could be said that modern human rights is descended very largely from the work of Hersch Lauterpacht. In 1945 he published an International Bill of Rights of Man which was the first effort by an academic to set out the theory of human rights for all human beings. You can draw a direct connection between Lauterpacht’s book, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It was he also who came up with the idea of including in the statute of Nuremberg the concept of Crimes against humanity.

The central focus of Lauterpacht’s work was to seek to ensure for the first time that human beings as individuals had minimum rights under international law and that was a revolutionary idea it had never happened before.’

Watch Professor Sands’s video:

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/oYp72lHzT3I


Hersch Lauterpacht is one of the key characters in Professor Sand’s award winning book East West Street.