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Sir Elihu Lauterpacht CBE QC LLD

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Areas of expertise

Sir Elihu Lauterpacht QC is a leading practitioner in public international law. He has had long experience as an advocate, adviser, arbitrator and judge in such varied fields of international law as natural resources law, investment matters, expropriation, territorial and boundary problems, maritime delimitation, fisheries and environmental issues.

He has been counsel in numerous cases before the International Court of Justice (e.g. the Nottebohm case, the North Sea Continental Shelf cases, the Barcelona Traction case, the Nuclear Tests cases, Pakistan v India Aerial Incident case, El Salvador v Honduras, Kasikili case, Qatar v Bahrain, Malaysia/Indonesia (Sipadan and Ligitan), and the Avena case (Mexico v US). He has also appeared in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, the European Commission and Court of Human Rights, and in many arbitral tribunals (e.g. Chile/Argentina boundary disputes, the Egypt/Israel Taba arbitration, the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, ICSID, and major arbitrations between investors and host States, as well as in domestic courts as counsel or expert witness on questions of public international law, including leading English House of Lords cases (the Zeiss case and Buttes v Occidental), and "pursuit" litigation in various overseas courts.As an adviser and draftsman he was actively involved on behalf of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and the other major oil companies in the settlement of the Iranian Oil Nationalization dispute, 1951-1954, being particularly responsible for the proper law and arbitration clauses; and has since advised many governments and international companies, especially in foreign investment matters, such as the drafting of investment agreements.

He was adviser on international law to the British Government Central Policy Review Staff, 1972-1974 and 1978-1980.  For three years (1975-1977) he was the Legal Adviser of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and in that capacity he was the Deputy Leader of the Australian delegations to the UN General Assembly, the UN Law of the Sea Conference and the meetings of the Antarctic Treaty Parties in those years. In his arbitral and judicial activity he has been an ad hoc Judge of the ICJ in the Bosnia v Yugoslavia case (1993-2001), a member and President of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, Chairman of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal, Chairman of the East African Common Market Tribunal, 1972-1975, a Presiding Commissioner of the UN Compensation Commission, an arbitrator in various World Bank (ICSID) and other investment arbitrations and, most recently President of the Eritrea/Ethiopia Boundary Commission. He is a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

He has also been an active academic as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and successively Lecturer, Reader and Honorary Professor of International Law at Cambridge. He was the founder of the Research Centre for International Law at Cambridge in 1983 and its first Director until 1995. He has lectured at The Hague Academy of International Law. He is a Member of the Institut de Droit International and the author of books and articles on international law, including Aspects of International Adjudication.

In June 2013 Sir Elihu was awarded The Hague Prize for International Law for his "pioneering research" in, and substantial contribution to, the development of international law.