Oppenheim, Lassa Francis Lawrence

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OPPENHEIM, LASSA FRANCIS LAWRENCE (1858–1919), international lawyer. Oppenheim, one of the greatest authorities in his field, was born in Windekken, Germany. In 1886 he was appointed lecturer at the University of Freiburg, but because he was Jewish was precluded from advancing in the academic field. He therefore left Germany and went to Switzerland, where he lectured at Basle University, and then, in 1895, to England. From 1898 to 1908 Oppenheim taught at the London School of Economics, and in 1908 became Whewell professor of international law at Cambridge, a position he held until his death. He was an adviser to the British government on questions of international law and collaborated on the British Army manual Land Warfare (1912). He also prepared memoranda for the British delegates at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Oppenheim's authoritative treatise, International Law, 2 vols. (1905–06), subsequently edited by Hersch *Lauterpacht, was accepted as the principal textbook for English-speaking countries. He became leader of the positive school in international law and a supporter of the League of Nations concept. Oppenheim was the principal founder of the British Yearbook of International Law.


Whittuck, in: British Year Book of International Law, 1 (1920–21), 1–10. add. bibliography: odnb online.

[Guido (Gad) Tedeschi]