Interview with judge Thomas Buergenthal: Reflecting on the past with a view to the future

Gamle Festsal, University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, October 1. 2008. Interviewer is Professor Cecilia M. Bailliet from the Department of Public and International Law.


Thomas Buergenthal (born 11 May 1934 in Lubochna, Czechoslovakia, today Slovakia) is a specialist in international law and human rights law. Since 2000, he has sat as a judge on the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Prior to this appointment, he was Lobingier Professor of International and Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at The George Washington University Law School and has held numerous prestigious academic positions. He has served as a judge for many years, including lengthy periods on various specialised international organization bodies, including the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He has also been a member of the UN Human Rights Committee and the El Salvador Truth Commission.

The Norwegian humanitarian Odd Nansen, who befriended Buergenthal in Sachsenhausen during World War II, wrote a book about him titled "Tommy - en sannferdig fortelling".

Selected works:

  • Law-Making in the International Civil Aviation Organization (1969)
  • International Protection of Human Rights (with L. B. Sohn, 1973)
  • Public International Law in a Nutshell (4th edition 2007, with S.D. Murphy)
  • International Human Rights in a Nutshell (3rd edition 2002, with D. Shelton and D. Stewart)
  • Protecting Human Rights in the Americas (4th edition 1995, with D. Shelton)

Further information:
ICJ Biography of Thomas Buergenthal

Published June 18, 2015 10:00 AM - Last modified June 18, 2015 10:00 AM