Top human rights judge to deliver first memorial lecture

Sir Christopher Greenwood, Britain’s judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and a veteran of landmark human rights legal cases, is to deliver the inaugural Professor Colonel Gerald Draper OBE Memorial Lecture, organised by the University of Sussex.

The lecture, established in memory of the distinguished former University of Sussex law academic and Nuremberg prosecutor, is hosted by Sussex alumnus Tony Baldry MP and takes place at Portcullis House at Westminster on Thursday 22 October.

It provides an opportunity for key thinkers and practitioners to discuss current law issues while recognising the contribution of Draper to the field: friends and law alumni of the University will be joined by senior representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Immigration Advisory Service and the United Nations Association of the UK.

Entitled ‘Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law - Conflict or Convergence’, Sir Christopher’s lecture will explain that international humanitarian law was designed specifically for the regulation of armed conflict, whereas human rights law was conceived primarily with peacetime conditions in mind. Nevertheless, the relationship between the two is not mutually exclusive.  Human rights law cannot be applied without some regard to the provisions of international humanitarian law as the specialist body of rules. That the two can co-exist has been recognised by the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the English courts The purpose of the lecture will be to explore how that relationship has developed and what future direction it might take.

Sir Christopher took up his role as Judge in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in February 2009. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Sir Christopher is Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and is a practising barrister whose cases have included the Pinochet, Kuwait Airways and Guantanamo Bay cases in the English courts, the Lockerbie, Kosovo and Rwanda cases in the International Court of Justice and the Bankovic case in the European Court of Human Rights.

Professor Craig Barker, Head of the Sussex Law School said: “We are very proud to have such a distinguished speaker honouring the memory of such an import figure in the development of the law of armed conflict, and the history of the Sussex  Law School.”

Notes for Editors


The lecture arose from the desire of the Sussex Law School and Professor Colonel Draper’s widow, Mrs Julia Draper, to highlight his work; a series of scholarships supported by alumni were also set up last year in his name. It is hoped that the lecture will become a regular fixture on the University calendar.

Gerald Irving Antony Dare Draper

Professor Colonel Draper was one of the first Allied officers to arrive at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of the Second World War, which affected him profoundly. He went on to serve as prosecutor at Nuremberg as well as at various War Crimes Trials between 1945 and 1949. On retirement from military life in 1956 he turned to academia and eventually became Reader in Law at the University of Sussex in 1967, where he embarked on a wide-ranging and distinguished career in the field of humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict. He was promoted to Chair at Sussex in 1976 and retired in 1979, when he was made Professor Emeritus. He died 1989. In relation to humanitarian law or the law of armed conflict, Draper undoubtedly stands as the greatest English speaking contributor to the development of this area of international law in the post-war period.

His Excellency Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood CMG, QC is Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and a judge of the International Court of Justice. The Court plays a vital role in the resolution of disputes between States and in the development of international law. He is Joint Editor of the International Law Reports and has taught at universities in the United States and Germany as well as at the Academy of International Law in the Hague.

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888 or email

The Professor Colonel Gerald Draper OBE Memorial Lecture takes place on Thursday 22 October 2009, at Portcullis House, Westminster London, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Attendance is by invitation only. Journalist enquiries/RSVPs should be directed to



Last updated: Friday, 16 October 2009