Akzin, Benjamin

views updated


AKZIN, BENJAMIN (1904–1985), constitutional lawyer and political scientist. Akzin was born in Riga, Latvia, received doctorates from the universities of Vienna and Paris, lectured in various American universities, and was a Library of Congress expert on matters of law and international relations. He went to Israel in 1949 and joined the faculty of the Hebrew University as professor of constitutional law and political science and served as dean of the law faculty in 1951–54, 1956–58, and 1961–63. Akzin was an early supporter of the Revisionist Party and from 1936–41 was head of the political division of the New Zionist Organization. From 1945 to 1947 he served as political advisor and then as secretary of the Zionist Emergency Committee in the United States. Akzin wrote numerous political and scholarly articles as well as the following books: Problémes fondamentaux du droit international publique (1929); New States and International Organizations (1955); Torat ha-Mishtarim (1963); State and Nation (1964); Sugyot be-Mishpat u-ve-Medina'ut (1966). Akzin was founder and first editor of the Israel Law Review. He was awarded the Israel Prize in law for 1967.

Akzin served as rector and acting president of the Haifa University from 1969 to 1972. He was elected honorary president of the World Federation of un Associations, and of the Political Science Association of Israel, and was president of the Council of Friendship Associations between Israel and foreign countries.

In 1975 his Be-Ayin Boḥenet ("Looking at the Passing Scene") was published.