- ▪ 1994Polish educator, diplomat, and jurist (b. April 21, 1914, Stanislawow, Austria-Hungary—d. Jan. 14, 1993, The Hague, Neth.), was the longest-serving member of the International Court of Justice (1967-93; president 1973-76) and a brilliant legal scholar who had a profound influence on the development of international law after World War II. Lachs received a doctorate in law from the Jagiellonian University of Krakow (1937) and did graduate work at the Consular Academy of Vienna and the London School of Economics. After serving in the military and the Polish government in exile during the war, he applied his sharp legal mind and multilingual skills in the Polish Foreign Ministry as director of the Legal and Treaties Department (1947-60), official legal adviser to the foreign minister (1960-67), and ambassador-at-large. Lachs came to international prominence as a member of the 1945 UN War Crimes Commission, a Polish representative at the 1946 Paris Peace Conference, and a longtime delegate to the UN General Assembly. In 1966 he was elected to the World Court, where he was a respected consensus builder and advocate of moderate international cooperation. Lachs was also chairman of the General Assembly Legal Committee (1949, 1951, 1955), chairman of the UN Legal Commission for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (1962-67), and professor of law at the University of Warsaw (1952-93). His numerous books and papers (written in more than a dozen languages) include War Crimes: An Attempt to Define the Issues (1945), The International Law of Outer Space, a Law in the Making (1964), and The Teacher in International Law (1982).
* * *▪ Polish educator and juristborn April 21, 1914, Stanisławów, Austria-Hungary [now Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine]died Jan. 14, 1993, The Hague, Neth.Polish writer, educator, diplomat, and jurist who profoundly influenced the postwar development of international law.Lachs was educated at Jagiellonian University of Kraków, where he earned his law degrees, and did graduate work at the Consular Academy of Vienna and the London School of Economics before the outbreak of World War II.His first public notice in the West came in 1945 with the publication of his first book, War Crimes: An Attempt to Define the Issues. Lachs was made a delegate to both the Paris Peace Conference and the first United Nations General Assembly (1946). The following year he was appointed director of the Legal and Treaties Department of the Foreign Ministry, a post he held until 1960. In that year he became legal adviser to Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki and played a central role in the development of the “Rapacki Plan” for making central Europe a nuclear-free zone. Lachs was a delegate to most General Assembly sessions through 1966. In that year he was elected a judge of the World Court, formally the International Court of Justice, at The Hague. He was president of the court in 1973–76 and was chairman of its committee on revising court procedures.Throughout his political and legal careers Lachs continued to teach and lecture around the world; from 1952 he taught at the University of Warsaw. He published several books, including The Teacher in International Law: Teachings and Teaching (1982), and many articles.
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