Walther Schucking

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Walther Schücking (6 January 1875 – 25 August 1935) was a liberal German Professor of International Law at Marburg University in Germany, and a well-known pacifist.[1] He was a German delegate to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and later became the first German judge at the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague.

Early life

Schücking was born in Münster, Westphalia to District Judge Carl Lothar Levin Schücking and his wife Luise Wilhelmine Amalie Beitzke (daughter of the politician and historian Heinrich Beitzke). His paternal grandfather was the German novelist Levin Schücking (1814–1883). His brothers were Levin Ludwig Schücking (1878–1964), Professor of English at the University of Leipzig, and Lothar Engelbert Schücking (1873–1943), a lawyer, author and Mayor of Husum. Walther Schücking married Irmgard Auguste Charlotte Marte von Laer (1881–1952).

Post World War One

Schücking was a member of the German delegation at the Paris Peace Conference to whom the Allies presented the draft Treaty of Versailles. Following its publication in Germany and the proposal in it for a League of Nations, Schücking and two members of the legal department of the German Foreign Ministry, Walter Simons and Friedrich Gaus, were entrusted with drafting their own idea of a constitution for "the creation of a permanent association of nations on the basis of equality for all nations, great or small, with the introduction of obligatory arbitration for all international disputes" which would then be presented to the Allies. The most prominent notions in the draft were Schücking's own, which he had expressed in Der Weltfriedensbund (1917) and Internationale Rechtsgarantien (1918). These ideas had also been introduced into the proposed scheme of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Volkerrecht, an associaton of Germany's foremost jurists, on which Schücking had worked and on which the drafters now drew upon. This new draft was described as "elaborate and meticulous - a monument to perfectionism". It was nevertheless set aside and ignored by the Allied powers.[2]

Schücking, with Count Max Montgelas, also edited the four volumes of 1123 German Foreign Office documents, which had been collected together by Karl Kautsky on behalf of the German Government, entitled The Outbreak of the World War published at Charlottenburg in November 1919, later translated into English by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and published in one large volume by the Oxford University Press in 1924. In their Preface, Schücking and Montgelas stress the editors' absolute political neutrality.

In 1995, the Institute of International Law at the University of Kiel was renamed the Walther Schücking Institute of International Law in his honour.


  1. Germany and the League of Nations by Professor Christoph M. Kimmich, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1976, p.18. ISBN 0-226-43534-2
  2. Kimmich, 1976, p.19-21.