Re-Introducing Walther Schücking
19 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 9, 2011
Walther Schücking who died seventy-five years ago, in August 1935, was one of most prominent international lawyers of his generation, and yet an outsider among the German legal academic establishment. He was a progressive liberal who placed great trust in the civilising role of international law, and yet, when serving as a World Court judge from 1930-1935, seemed to integrate quickly into what is with some reason regarded as the Court’s most conservative period. A century ago, Schücking addressed fundamental questions that still haunt international lawyers today, and gave answers that were said to be “destined to become the law of the future”, and yet his influence on the codification and progressive development of the ‘international law of the future’ after World War II was negligible. So who was Walther Schücking, and in what respect, if any, is he part of a European Tradition in International Law? The following short piece aims to re-introduce Walther Schücking, and to put the case, seventy-five years after his death, for a renewed engagement with his work.
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