On February 21, the Institute for International Law and Public Policy hosted a lecture by Dr. Jan Arno Hessbruegge on his new book, Human Rights and Personal Self-Defense in International Law. Throughout his talk, Dr. Hessbruegge detailed the arguments laid out in his book, the first book dedicated to the right of personal self-defense in international law. Drawing upon his extensive experience as a scholar and practitioner, he covered timely topics such as police killings in claimed self-defense, resistance rights against the state, stand your ground laws, women’s self-defense against habitual abuse and also the claim that there is a human right to firearms as the means to self-defense.
Dr. Hessbruegge currently works in the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and is also a visiting professor for international law at the U.N.-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. He has worked as a legal advisor in the Executive Office of the High Commissioner, with the U.N. Commissions of Inquiry on Human Rights in Syria and North Korea, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, and the Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons. Additionally, he served in U.N. peacekeeping missions in Sudan and Haiti. Dr. Hessbruegge has written numerous scholarly works on international law and human rights, and holds a PhD in international law from the European University Viadrina.