Rosalyn Higgins

2007 Balzan Prize for International Law since 1945

For her outstanding contributions to the development of international law since the Second World War and her role as an academic, judge and Court President; for her clear, constructive as well as innovative and groundbreaking books, writings, articles, and court decisions in defence of the rule of law and human rights; for her leading role in strengthening and enlarging modern international law.

Biographical and Bibliographical Data

Rosalyn Higgins, born in London on 2 June 1937, is a British citizen.

She is the President of the International Court of Justice and member of the International Court of Justice since 1995.

She studied at Girton College, University of Cambridge, receiving her B.A. in 1959 and LL.B. in 1962. In addition to her undergraduate degrees she also holds an M.A. She continued her studies at Yale University, earning a J.S.D. She has received eight honorary doctorates from other academic institutions, as well as the Yale Law School Medal of Merit and the Manley O. Hudson Medal. Rosalyn Higgins was then a practicing barrister, became a Queen’s Counsel in 1986 and is a bencher of the Inner Temple.

She has also practiced in public international law and petroleum law, appearing before the English Courts and various international tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of European Communities. She was a member of the UN Committee on Human Rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1985-1995) and is a Vice-President of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

Her professional appointments include: Specialist in International Law at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (1961-1974); Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics (1974-1978); Professor of International Law at the University of Kent at Canterbury (1978-1981) and at the University of London (1981-1995).

In 1995 she became a Dame Commander of the British Empire.

Her Excellency Dame Rosalyn Higgins is the author of various works and articles on international legal theory, United Nations law, the use of force, state and diplomatic immunities, human rights and international petroleum law. Her most influential works include:
– The Development of International Law through the Political Organs of the United Nations, Oxford University Press, 1963
– Conflict of Interests: International Law in a Divided World, London, Bodley Head, 1965
– The Administration of the United Kingdom Foreign Policy through the United Nations, ed. Mangone, New York, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, 1966
– United Nations Peacekeeping: Documents and Commentary, London, OUP for Royal Institute of International Affairs:
– Vol. I Middle East, 1969
– Vol. II Asia, 1970
– Vol. III Africa, 1980
– Vol. IV Europe, 1981
– Law in Movement – Essays in Memory of John McMahon, joint ed. with James Fawcett, London, OUP for Royal Institute of International Affairs,1974
– The Taking of Property by the State: Recent Developments in International Law, Recueil des Cours, vol. 176, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1982
– Liberté de Circulation des Personnes en Droit international, joint ed. with Maurice Flory, Paris, Economica, 1988
– International Law and the Avoidance, Containment and Resolution of Disputes, General Course on Public International Law, Recueil des cours, vol. 230, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1991
– Problems and Process: International Law and How We Use It, London, Clarendon Press, 1994
– Terrorism and International Law, joint ed. with Maurice Flory, London, Routledge, 1997

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