‘Maxwell-Fyfe’s involvement in drafting the ECHR was key. In certain ways, in his very person he also provided a living link between the Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Just as the Universal Declaration reflected the insights and experiences of men and women who had just witnessed and in some cases had been personally devased by the events of the second world war so the text of the European Convention was moulded by a man who had been indelibly affected by the same epoch making events .’

 

FRANCESCA KLUG - A Magna Carta for all Humanity published Routledge 2015

'If our unfortunate generation has proved one thing it has demonstrated that the barbarian is not behind us but always underneath us ready to rise up.'

David Maxwell Fyfe

 

Yet I am haunted by some words from a song to which we used to listen in more carefree days:

"On fait des serments

Et simplement

On les oublie"

Having propounded high ideals in defeated Germany I feel the responsibility for doing my part to see that they are not forgotten by the victors.

 

David Maxwell Fyfe 20th December1947

How long does it take to forget? Well, as it turns out, in twenty-first century Britain, it takes seventy years.

David Maxwell Fyfe picture Chatham House

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A three year countdown to two key but unheralded anniversaries:

IMT Nuremberg 75

ECHR 70

2020

UPDATED SCRIPT AVAILABLE HERE

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PROJECT LAUNCH 20 DECEMBER 2017

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