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Lord Duncan McNair

Lord McNair has a family tradition of concern for human rights. That includes his grandfather who, as Sir Arnold McNair, was British judge at the International Court of Justice, or ICJ, at The Hague in Holland and his father, Lord John McNair who was a delegate from the UK House of Lords to the Council of Europe.

The ICJ is where countries take each other to court on civil matters, like the dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Nile waters. The ICJ is also consulted to give advisory opinions on questions of public international law, like a recent dispute between Guatemala and Belize about their land and sea borders.

Sir Arnold McNair, later Lord McNair of Gleniffer, was one of the most prominent and influential public international lawyers of the 20th Century, ending his career as the Founding President of the European Court of Human Rights after pressing strongly for the establishment of a Court to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights.