Whitney R. Harris
Mr. Harris practiced law in Los Angeles from 1936 until 1942, when he entered the United States Navy as an Ensign shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He served as a line officer in the Navy throughout World War II, and remained in inactive status until August 12, 1972, when he retired with the rank of Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps. Toward the end of World War II, Harris, by now Lieutenant Harris, was assigned by the Navy for special duty with the Office of Strategic Services. He was placed in charge of the investigation of war crimes in the European Theatre.
In August, 1945, Lt. Harris joined the staff of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson in the trial of the major German war criminals at Nuremberg, Germany. He served as a prosecutor throughout the trial until October 1, 1946, and was primarily responsible for the prosecution of Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the Gestapo and the SD. For his work at Nuremberg, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. He stayed on in Germany to serve as Chief of Legal Advice during the Berlin Blockade. A graduate of the University of Washington and the University of California School of Law at Berkeley, Mr. Harris is the author of Tyranny on Trial: the Trial of Major German War Criminals at the End of World War II at Nuremberg Germany.
Mr. Harris joined the Southern Methodist University Law School faculty following his military service. He was Director of the Hoover Commission's Legal Services Task Force; served as the first Executive Director of the American Bar Association; and was Solicitor General of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in St. Louis where he practiced law until his retirement.
In l998, Mr. Harris was a delegate to the United Nations-sponsored Rome conference that resulted in the treaty that will create the International Criminal Court. In December, 2001, Washington University, St. Louis, renamed its Institute for Global Legal Studies in his honor. Mr. Harris continues to promote international human rights in lectures and at symposia.
The Whitney R. Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies functions as a center for instruction and research in international and comparative law, expanding knowledge and understanding of real-world issues and preparing lawyers for the professional challenges of the 21st century.