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3 Int'l J. Refugee L. 183 (1991)

handle is hein.journals/intjrl3 and id is 195 raw text is: EDITORIAL

Paul Weis
Paul Weis, lawyer, born Vienna 19 March 1907, Legal Advisor, Inter-
national Refugee Organisation (IRO) 1947-51, Legal Advisor and
later Head of Legal Department, Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 1951-67, married 1946 Gertie
Kuthan (died 1991; one son), died Geneva 6 February 1991.
IvorJackson, formerly Deputy Director of the Division of International
Protection of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, writes:
PAUL WEIS personified an epoch that was of major significance for
the international protection of refugees: he was referred to as the
'father' of international protection.
International protection had already existed under the League of
Nations. However, after the Second World War, there was a
perceived need to make further progress by broadening the refugee
definition, improving the internationally recognised standards for the
treatment of refugees and establishing an effective supervisory
mechanism within the United Nations to ensure that these standards
are effectively applied.
Weis was born in Vienna in 1907, and studied law in Austria. He
was interned in Dachau concentration camp from November 1938 to
April 1939, and came to Britain in 1939. He continued his legal
studies in the United Kingdom, and was naturalised a British subject
in 1947.
Throughout his professional career, Weis actively contributed to
efforts to improve the legal status of refugees. He was Legal Advisor to
the International Refugee Organisation (IRO), a specialised agency
of the United Nations created to deal with the residual refugee prob-
lem resulting from the Second World War, which operated from 1947
to 1951. Weis then became Legal Advisor and later Chief of the Legal
Department of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees which commenced its activities at the beginning of 1951.
Weis participated in the work leading to the preparation and adop-

International Journal of Refugee Law Vol. 3 No. 2

© Oxford University Press 1991,
0953-8186/91 $3.00

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