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Louis Henkin Memorial Lecture University of Miami Law School
University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review
  • Juan Mendez, American University Washington College of Law
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University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


I am deeply honored to be invited to deliver this year's version of a lecture series honoring Professor Louis Henkin whose contributions to the development of international law-and very specifically to international human rights law - are and very long will continue to be remembered. I am also a bit overwhelmed as I notice that the organizers have put me in the company of wonderful colleagues and masters of this field, several of them my friends and persons whose work I admire. It is also especially gratifying for me to have the occasion of renewing contact with the Henkin family (albeit under these strange social distancing conditions). You don't need me to recite the many ways in which Alice Henkin has made her own contributions to human rights worldwide; however, I must say that it has always been a source of enormous pride for me to recall my participation with Lou and Alice in the Aspen Institute weekend seminars for judges on international human rights law at Wye Island, as well as my "being there" (also at Wye Island) on the groundbreaking discussion on accountability for State Crimes (with giants like Lou, Ted Meron, Pepe Zalaquett and Aryeh Neier), a memorable discussion that launched a whole line of research, thought and practice on what we now call "Transitional Justice." I need to mention also that Lou and Alice invited me to a week-long seminar in Aspen, Colorado in the late 1990s, no less as the beneficiary of a Harry Blackmun fellowship. And of course, my sense of being humbled by today's invitation is the same that I felt when I was invited to speak at Columbia Law School, uneasily following Jose Alvarez and Harold Koh at the podium, and with Lou himself in the audience. Alice knows that there could be a lot more instances of support to acknowledge today, and she knows of my abiding gratitude for all of them.

Citation Information
Juan Mendez. "Louis Henkin Memorial Lecture University of Miami Law School" University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review Vol. 29 Iss. 2 (2022) p. 218 - 234
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