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Robert P. George honored with national human rights medal in Poland

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May 10, 2010

Robert P. George, of counsel attorney with the Charleston firm of Robinson & McElwee, has been awarded the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland.

George, who is also McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, received the honor at a ceremony in Warsaw, Poland on May 4. Attending the ceremony were the Chief Justice and several Associate Justices of the Polish Constitutional Court together with many other dignitaries. The Defense of Human Rights medal was established by the President of Poland. George was selected to receive it by Poland's Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection Janusz Kochanowski, who together with the President and First Lady of Poland and dozens of other Polish political and military leaders died in a plane crash on April 10 of this year. In conferring the Human Rights medal, Dr. Marek Zubik, Deputy Commissioner for Civil Rights, noted that Poland recognizes the importance of intellectual as well as political work in defense of human rights, and praised George’s writings for identifying grounds of moral principle for honoring the inherent and equal dignity of all members of the human family.

George is the author of several books, including The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis; In Defense of Natural Law; Embryo: A Defense of Human Life; and Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality. He has served as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics. He was a Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He currently serves on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Among George's other honors are the United States Presidential Citizens Medal, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Philip Merrill Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Liberal Arts, and honorary doctorates of law, ethics, letters, science, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science.