Sean D. Murphy, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law, visited Lviv, Ukraine, this past fall for the unveiling of a plaque at the home where Professor Louis B. Sohn, who passed away in 2006 and served as a visiting scholar at GW Law for a decade, lived in his youth. He was a prominent international law scholar who helped draft the United Nations charter and who fostered awareness and action in human rights.
Born in Ukraine, Professor Sohn came to the United States from Poland shortly before the Nazi invasion. Among his many accomplishments, Professor Sohn worked on the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and helped establish the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In 2003, he was the inaugural recipient of the International Environmental Law Award from the Center for International Environmental Law.
The unveiling of the plaque was a moment that celebrated Professor Sohn's distinguished career as an international lawyer. Peter Trooboff, Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling, gave a moving tribute to Professor Sohn prior to the unveiling of the plaque. The Deputy Mayor of the city, Andriy Sadovyi, was also in attendance. Professor Murphy shared that Lviv also celebrated the origin of two other prominent international lawyers: Sir Herschel Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin. Their stories and their connection to Lviv, to the Holcaust, and to the birth of the concepts of crimes against humanity and genocide is recounted in the recent book by Philippe Sands entitled East West Street, which Mr. Sands discussed at GW Law in 2016.