Thomas Buergenthal, a one-time judge of the International Court of Justice, will receive an honorary doctorate Friday from Costa Rica’s University for Peace.
The official ceremony will take place at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San José, as the U.N.-sponsored school in Ciudad Colón will present him with its doctor honoris causa “for his outstanding career in international law, as well as for his leadership and commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights,” according to a release from the school.
His work has been especially influential in Latin America, as Buergenthal was a judge for the human rights court from 1979 to 1991, including a five-year stint as its president. He was instrumental in ending a rash of disappearances in Honduras and also in protecting human rights activists in Guatemala during that time.
Buergenthal is also slated to be a guest speaker at the inaugural international diploma in public law for human rights that will be offered at the University for Peace.
A Holocaust survivor who went through Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen, Buerguenthal penned the memoir “A Lucky Child” to describe his harrowing experience in the German concentration camps during World War II.