A Miami Law lecture hall was packed recently with students, faculty members and guests for an address, the Louis Henkin Lecture on Human Rights, by Professor Sarah H. Cleveland of Columbia Law School. The title of the lecture was "Rights at War: The Interface Between Human and Constitutional Rights and the Laws of Armed Conflict."
Professor Cleveland is the Louis Henkin Professor in Human and Constitutional Rights and faculty co-director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia. From 2009 to 2011 she served as the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where she supervised the office's legal work relating to the law of war and counterterrorism.
Louis Henkin, a legal scholar often credited with creating the field of human rights law, died two years ago in New York at 92. His obituary in The New York Times said that Henkin, the author of classic works on constitutional law and the legal aspects of foreign policy, was "unusual in combining equal expertise in constitutional law and international law," and that his legal scholarship was "a fundamental resource for other scholars involved in human rights and international law." He received his law degree from Harvard in 1940 and later taught at Columbia, where he founded the Center for the Study of Human Rights in 1978 and the Human Rights Institute in 1998. Through seminars run by the Aspen Institute's Justice and Society Program, he trained hundreds of legal specialists and advocates in the field of human rights law, the Times said.
His widow, Alice H. Henkin, Director Emerita of the Justice and Society Program at Aspen, attended the lecture at Miami Law, as did Judge Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.