East West Street: On the Origins of 'Genocide' and 'Crimes against Humanity'

Philippe Sands, human rights lawyer & author, Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law, Oxford, Stephen Humphreys, LSE
Event date
Event time
17:00 - 18:00
All Souls College
High Street
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Organized in collaboration with Oxford Transitional Justice Research

***ANNOUNCED 15/11/16: Philippe Sands' East West Street wins Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction***

In this book colloquium, Philippe Sands QC will discuss East West Street, his moving personal memoir that recounts how he unearthed long-buried family secrets whilst researching the fathers of the modern human rights movement in Lviv, home to his maternal grandfather.

In this extraordinary and resonant book, Sands paints a portrait of the two very private men who forged his own field of humanitarian law — Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht — each of whom dedicated their lives to having their legal concepts of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” form a centrepiece for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals.

In doing so, the author uncovers, clue by clue, the deliberately obscured story of his grandfather’s mysterious life and of his mother’s journey as a child surviving Nazi occupation. It is a book that changes the way we look at the world, at our understanding of history, and how civilization has tried to cope with mass murder.

Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of Lawless World and Torture Team and is a frequent commentator on CNN and the BBC World Service. Philippe Sands lectures around the world and has taught at New York University and been a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, the University of Melbourne, and the Université de Paris I (Sorbonne). In 2003 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel.