Richard Falk

Richard Falk, author of Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope and Chaos and Counterrevolution: After the Arab Spring, is a renowned international law and international relations scholar who recently completed a six-year term as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine.

About Richard Falk

Falk is Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton University where he taught for forty years. He currently directs the “Global Climate Change, Human Security, and Democracy” project at the Orfalea Center of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and also directs the “POMEAS Project on Politics in the Middle East after the Arab Spring,” at the Istanbul Policy Center, Sanbaci University.

Falk has dedicated his career to promoting justice and human rights through international legal institutions. In 2001 he served on a UN Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine Territories, which examined whether Israel as the occupying power was carrying out its responsibility to protect the society that is subject to its control and evaluated the right of occupied Palestinians to engage in resistance. Previously he served as a member of the Independent International Commission on Kosovo. Falk also acted as counsel to Ethiopia and Liberia in the Southwest Africa Cases before the International Court of Justice.

In his capacity as Special Rapporteur, Falk raised many concerns regarding Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories including their military operations and blockade against Gaza, their treatment of Palestinian prisoners, and their misallocation of water and natural resources. Falk also recommended expanding his mandate to investigate Palestinian violations of international humanitarian law as a component of his objective approach to the mission. Throughout his term, Falk gathered detailed evidence to support the conclusion that Israel’s policies in the Palestinian territories constituted a policy of apartheid and he spoke out forcefully in condemnation of this policy.

Falk is the author or coauthor of over 20 books, plus countless edited volumes and articles on the subjects of human rights, international law, and global institutions. His most recent book, (Re)Imagining Humane Global Governance (2014) proposes a value-oriented assessment of world order and future trends. Falk has also chaired or served on the board of numerous organizations including the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation based in Santa Barbara.

Videos of Richard Falk

Richard Falk on Al Jazeera English following his expulsion and detention by Israeli authorities during his tenure as the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territories.