100 Years of Peace through Law: the Walther Schücking Institute of International Law

by Prof Dr Andreas von Arnauld


The Walther Schücking Institute is the oldest university institute specialised in international law in Europe and beyond. Founded in early 1914 by Theodor Niemeyer, its first period of bloom came to an abrupt end when Niemeyer’s successor, pacificst international lawyer Walther Schücking, was dismissed in 1933. During the Nazi period, the Institute remained outside the ‘Kieler Schule’ that set out to redefine law according to National Socialist ideology; for a brief time however, Paul Ritterbusch, director from 1937 to 1941, and his clique brought the Institute in line with Nazism. The rebuilding of the Institute from the shattering effects of the War was mainly the work of Hermann von Mangoldt who became director in 1944. Later directors, like Eberhard Menzel (1955-1975) and Jost Delbrück (1976-2001), further expanded the Institute and re-established its renown as one of the prime academic institutions for international law in Germany. In 1995, the Institute was renamed to honour its former director and Judge at the Permanent Court of International Justice, Walther Schücking.