Journal Article

An International Lawyer in Democracy and Dictatorship – Re-Introducing Herbert Kraus

Heiko Meiertöns

in European Journal of International Law

Published on behalf of The EJIL

Volume 25, issue 1, pages 255-286
Published in print February 2014 | ISSN: 0938-5428
Published online April 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3596 | DOI:

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Herbert Kraus (1884–1965) is among the forgotten international lawyers of the 20th century. Kraus took part in a number of developments of great importance for the shaping of modern international law: he participated in the drafting process of the Versailles Peace Treaty and the Treaty on the European Coal and Steel Community and acted as defence counsel at Nuremberg. The founding director of the Institute for International Law at the University of Göttingen was forced to retire between 1937 and 1945 due to his criticism of National Socialism. The post-war perception of his work was coined by his forced retirement. However, his work between 1933 and 1937 sheds light on the dilemma of choosing between opposition and adjustment that Kraus was faced with during that period. This article re-introduces Kraus – a complex German character of international law – and the main features of his work.

Journal Article.  16985 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law