Human Rights and the Gaza Conflict


Location: Eck Hall of Law, Room 3140

Christian Tomuschat, international human rights lawyer, emeritus professor of law at Humboldt University, Berlin

Prof. Tomuschat will discuss his service on a panel of independent experts tasked by the United Nations to “monitor and assess any domestic, legal, or other proceedings undertaken by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian side” in light of the allegations in the report of the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission into the Gaza conflict, also known as the Goldstone Report. That report alleged that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants were guilty of serious human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law during Operation Cast Lead that took place from December 2008 to January 2009.

Professor Tomuschat is one of the world’s leading international human rights lawyers. Before taking the chair of international law at Humboldt, he taught for 22 years as a law faculty of the University of Bonn where he directed the Institute of International Law. From 1977 to 1986, Professor Tomuschat was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the treaty body created by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; from 1985 to 1996, he served on the International Law Commission (president in 1992). From 1990 to 1993, he was the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Guatemala; from 1997 to 1999, he chaired the Truth Commission established by the Guatemalan Peace Accords, known as the Commission for Historical Clarification. His judicial experience includes serving as judge of the administrative tribunals of the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank. He has represented the Federal Government of Germany before European Court of Justice in Luxemburg and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and, currently, before the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Professor Tomuschat served as a member of the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva) from 1981 to 1996. He was the President of the German Society of International Law from 1993 to 1997 and was admitted to the Institut de Droit International in 1997.

Sponsored by the Notre Dame Law School