The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies mourns the loss of Professor Louis Henkin, who passed away on October 14, 2010 at the age of 92.
Louis Henkin was University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, Chair of the University Center for the Study of Human Rights, and Director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School. He was also a long-time member of The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.
According to his colleagues at Columbia, Henkin was both “credited with founding the study of human rights law and inspiring generations of legal scholars” and “among the first and most forceful advocates of using the lens of the law to focus on a nation’s obligations to safeguard the equality and dignity of its citizens.”
Before his appointment as University Professor in 1981, Henkin held chairs in International Law and Diplomacy, and in Constitutional Law. After serving as law clerk to Judge Learned Hand and to Justice Felix Frankfurter and as an officer of the United States Department of State, he turned to academic life, first at the University of Pennsylvania, then at Columbia Law School. Among various public and professional activities, Henkin was the Chief Reporter of the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law, President of the American Society of International Law, and Member of the U.N. Human Rights Committee monitoring the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Henkin received a B.A. from Yeshiva University, an LL.B. from Harvard University, an L.H.D. from Yeshiva University, and an LL.D. from Columbia University. He also received an honorary J.D. from Brooklyn Law.