Article from: TDM 3 (2018), in Editorial
Professor Maurice Mendelson QC*
ELIHU LAUTERPACHT was a valued member of the Editorial Board of TDM, and we decided that it would be appropriate to mark his passing in 2017 with a few reminiscences by some of those who knew and admired him. I would like to express my sincere thanks to those who took the time out of their busy schedules to write the tributes that follow.
Elihu (known to all as Eli) was born in London in 1928, the only child of Rachel (née Steinberg) and Hersch Lauterpacht, Jewish immigrants from central and Eastern Europe. Despite his foreign origins, Hersch was to become, not only Whewell Professor of International Law at Cambridge University and a knight of the realm, but one of the leading international lawyers of his generation, and certainly one of the most imaginative and most admired.
In due course, Eli followed in his father's footsteps by becoming an academic at the same university. A generation younger than him, and the scion of a rival ancient university 67 miles away, it took me some years to get to meet him personally. But even before I did so, initially - I must confess - I felt rather sorry for him, pursuing his career in the shadow of so illustrious a father. But I could have spared Eli my silent sympathy; for in time he became highly distinguished in his own right. He achieved this by steering a course somewhat different from his father's.
He, too, became an academic, a Fellow of the illustrious Trinity College, Cambridge, which had been the home of so many great men, including Francis Bacon, Edward Coke Isaac Newton, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein. And by all accounts he was an inspiring teacher, especially at the postgraduate level. His written output was substantial, both quantitatively and qualitatively, though it is fair to say that there was little that was strikingly original. He edited his father's various writings and drafts into multi-volume Collected Works, and another act of filial piety was his writing The Life of Hersch Lauterpacht.
He played an important part in making state practice and the decisions of international and national courts and arbitral tribunals widely available. As Sir Michael Wood notes in his contribution, in 1956 to 1961 Eli (as he was universally known) was responsible for the publication, in the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, of "Contemporary Practice of the United Kingdom in the Field of International Law", the baton being later picked up in the British Year Book of International Law and emulated in a number of other countries. And in 1960 he took over from his father the editing of International Law Reports, a task which he later shared with a number of younger colleagues. Along the same lines, through Grotius Publications, which he founded, he was responsible for the Iran-US Claims Tribunal Reports, and the ICSID Reports, both of which are now published by Cambridge University Press.
A further important academic contribution was the establishment in Cambridge of what was to become one of the most important international law research centres in the world; the University marked the contribution Eli had made to its creation, and the eminence of his and his father's standing in the field, by attaching to it their family name. There is more about this below, in the paper by Professor Benvenisti and Drs Nouwen and Waibel.
But it was as a practitioner of international law that he really made his name. He was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1950, took silk in 1970, and became a Master of the Bench of his Inn in 1983. After call, he continued in practice for virtually the whole of the rest of his life. For some six decades he appeared in many cases in the ICJ in particular. He was highly esteemed, both for his advice and his advocacy, and was regularly placed in the top tier of international law practitioners by the legal directories. He once joked to me that he had lost more cases in the ICJ than any other counsel, which he considered an accolade: the reason, he said, was that if a case was hopeless, the cry went up "Send for Eli!"
So highly esteemed was he as a practitioner, that in 1974 he was appointed Legal Adviser on International Law to the Australian Government - a post he held from 1975 to 1977. It is extremely rare for a person without ties of nationality or residence in a country to be appointed to such a post, and it is a great tribute to his ability and his reputation that he was asked and that he filled the post with distinction. The essay by Judge Anderson below recounts one aspect of Eli's contribution in that post at the Third UN Law of the Sea Conference; but there were many others.
Unlike his father, Eli did not pursue a career on the international bench. But he was a founder- member, and eventually president, of the UN Administrative Tribunal. He also sat as an arbitrator in several investment arbitrations chaired a NAFTA panel. He also presided over the important Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. He only sat once in the ICJ, as a Judge ad hoc; but his separate opinion in the provisional measures phase of Bosnia Genocide case, part of which is quoted in Judge Crawford's paper below, is widely regarded, and often cited, as epitomising the proper function of a party-appointed member of an international court or tribunal.
His contribution was recognised in numerous ways, including a knighthood in 1998, an LLD and a professorship from his University, membership of the Institut de Droit International, the Manley O. Hudson Award from the American Society of International Law, and the Hague Prize for International Law.
He was twice married: first, to Judith Hettinger, with whom he had three children before her untimely death in 1970; and then to Catherine Daly, with whom he had one son and who was his mainstay until the end.
As a man, he was full of fun. He liked to tell funny stories against himself, and we loved swapping jokes. I think I had the bigger store, but he was a worthy counterpart and competitor. And I have a very fond memory of one occasion when we found ourselves on the same transport to The Hague and, as soon as we arrived, with one mind made a bee-line to the nearest Dutch-herring stall. He was certainly not one to let infirmity stand in his way.
For his wisdom, his contribution to international law and his joie de vivre, he will be greatly missed.
* OGEMID Consultant Moderator. Blackstone Chambers Barristers; Emeritus Professor of International Law in the University of London.
 Alongside Judges Schwebel and Brower.
 Cambridge University Press 2012.
 ICJ Rep. 1993, p, 409 (para. 6).
 See also the contribution by Prof. McCorquodale below.