Saturday, January 14, 2012

Louis Sohn

Louis B. Sohn (1914 – 2006) was born in Lemberg, in what was then Austria-Hungary, later Poland and now Ukraine. He earned his first law degree at John Casimir University in Lwow in 1939, escaping to the United States two weeks before the Nazi invasion of Poland. He was a longtime scholar of international law and advocate of international institutions.
He participated in the San Francisco Conference that established the United Nations, working on the statute of the International Court of Justice. 
In 1958, Professor Sohn was a co-author, with Grenville Clark, of World Peace Through World Law (Harvard University Press), which examined proposals to transform the United Nations into a world government. The book called for complete disarmament and the use of world judicial tribunals to solve international disputes. The plan also proposed a permanent world police force to enforce a prohibition on the use of force by states.
Upon Sohn's death in 2006, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan issued a statement noting Sohn's reputation as "a voice of reason and source of wisdom," and celebrating his "firm belief in the importance of the United Nations and of the rule of law in settling international disputes."

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