Israel: The Peace Process and International Law

March 16, 2011Duke Law News

Friday, March 18, 2011
12:15 - 1:15 pm
Room 3037 | Duke Law School

Open to the public.

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Featuring Arthur Lenk
Director for the Department of International Law at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Despite 60+ years of challenges and threats, Israel remains the only western democracy in the Middle East. With recent events in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the whole world looks towards a region looking for the democracy and opportunity that is so basic to life for Israelis and Americans. Israel's legal system has repeatedly shown itself to be able to protect the rights of individuals while honoring the highest traditions of international and constitutional law. While seeking to reach peace with its neighbors and build a better future for Israelis and Palestinians, Israel remains on the cutting edge of international humanitarian law and is continuously seeking the proper balance between protecting its civilians from the threats of terrorism while ensuring that the rule of law remains at the center of Israel's values.


Arthur Lenk is the Director of the Department of International Law at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is responsible for providing legal advice to the Ministry's International Organizations and Strategic Affairs Divisions, on multilateral issues ranging from arms control and proliferation to human rights and UN affairs. He also coordinates Ministry's activities on international criminal law matters and plays an active role in representing Israel before international organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council. He is currently also working with the UN Secretary General's Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident.

From 2005 - 2009, Mr. Lenk served as Israel's Ambassador to Azerbaijan. During that period, political, strategic and economic relations between the two countries grew dramatically including growth of Israeli exports from $5 million in 2005 to $264 million in 2009. Israel massively increased oil import from Caspian Sea to Israel. He has also served in postings in New Delhi, India and Los Angeles.

Mr. Lenk was born in New Jersey and made aliyah to Israel in 1983. He studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (LL.B. and LL.M. degrees) and is a member of the bar in Israel and New York. He is married to Ruth and they have three daughters.

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