Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Read On! Nordic Journal of International Law publishes special issue on Raoul Wallenberg

(Read On! ... occasional posts on writing worth reading)

The Nordic Journal of International Law has just published a "Special Issue: Exploring the Legacy of a Life Dedicated to Humanitarianism: A Special Issue in Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg."
Wallenberg, who is believed to have died in Soviet custody in 1947, is globally revered for his successful rescue of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during World War II. The special issue seeks to pay tribute to his legacy as a diplomat and humanitarian through the lens of examining current challenges in international law.
Raoul Wallenberg, 1944
Upon reflecting on the wide-ranging, historical impact made by one individual, the editors – Ulf Linderfalk and Rebecca Stern of Lund University, along with me, Cecilia Marcela Bailliet of the University of Oslo – envisaged collecting essays to mirror the different aspects of Wallenberg's contributions.
► The foreword is authored by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Selected themes within Public International Law and International Human Rights Law trace Wallenberg’s pathways in contemporary settings.
► The first theme relates to Wallenberg’s provision of protective passports (Schutzpass) and housing protected by diplomatic immunity. These were the ingenious output of courage in the face of evil, hence J. Craig Barker (University of Sussex) addresses the function of diplomatic missions in times of armed conflict or foreign armed intervention.
► The second theme draws on Wallenberg’s intervention with Nazi authorities to prevent a planned massacre in the ghetto in Budapest. Nina H. B. Jørgensen (Chinese University of Hong Kong) discusses “The Next Darfur” and accountability for failure to prevent genocide.
► The third topic correlates to his support for the Hungarian independence movement. Paul Blokker (University of Trento) analyzes the dilemmas of democratization from legal revolutions to democratic constitutionalism. Joseph Siegle (University of Maryland) complements this by analyzing the protection of civil liberties and the right to democracy.
► The epilogue connotes Wallenberg’s fate as a victim of enforced disappearance by examining the extent to which the prohibition of this violation has attained jus cogens status. Judge Antônio Cançado Trindade, of the International Court of Justice, presents the contribution of the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (where he formerly served as President), and Jeremy Sarkin, a member of the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, assesses the status of this phenomenon under international law.
These themes reflect the profound importance of Wallenberg’s life and achievements, and underscore the need for us to address existent protection concerns. Thus, the special issue is intended to serve both as a memorial and as an impetus for future engagement.

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