Professor Sean Murphy to Deliver 2017 Herzog Lecture: A New Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity


Leading international law expert Sean Murphy will deliver the Fred F. Herzog Memorial Lecture on March 23 at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Murphy’s lecture, “Preventing and Punishing Crimes Against Humanity,” will draw on his work as Special Rapporteur for Crimes Against Humanity for the United Nation’s International Law Commission and discuss the commission’s work on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity.

Murphy is a professor at The George Washington University Law School. He was recently re-elected to a second, five-year term on the U.N. International Law Commission, where he serves as the commission’s Special Rapporteur on Crimes Against Humanity. He teaches, writes, and practices in the fields of public international law and U.S. foreign relations law.

Before joining George Washington’s faculty, Murphy served as legal counselor at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, arguing several cases before the International Court of Justice and representing the U.S. government in matters before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He also served as U.S. agent to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, arguing cases on behalf of the U.S. government and providing advice to U.S. nationals appearing before that tribunal. Between 1987 and 1995, he served in the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser, primarily advising on matters relating to oceans and international environmental law, international claims, and international humanitarian law. Murphy also has represented several countries in international courts and tribunals, including Ethiopia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Surinam, and the United States, and has served as an arbitrator in inter-State and investor-State arbitrations.

The Fred. F. Herzog Memorial Lecture Series is named in honor of former John Marshall Dean Herzog and has included such notable speakers as Hans Corell, the Undersecretary General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Professor Deborah Lipstadt of Emory University, and Thomas Buergenthal, former judge of the International Court of Justice.

The free lecture will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2017, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at The John Marshall Law School. Please register online at

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