Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Luis Kutner

Chicago, Illinois

Luis Kutner was born on June 9, 1908 in Chicago. He obtained his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1927. He was admitted to law practice in 1930 and began law practice in Chicago. He was a notable human rights lawyers. Kutner was co-founder of Amnesty International (in 1961) and founder of World Habeas Corpus, an organization created to fight for international policies which would protect individuals against unwarranted imprisonment. Kutner is credited for devising the idea of the "living will" which allows individuals to express their intentions about the use of medical life support if they become incapacitated before death.

Kutner was also a painter, poet, wrote a play, and ran for Congress.

He represented, among other famous clients, Ezra Pound, the Dalai Lama, and Tibet. Over the course of his career he was visiting associate professor of law at Yale University, special assistant attorney general for Illinois, consul for Ecuador, and consul general for Guatemala. Kutner died of heart failure on March 12, 1993 in Chicago.

Luis Kutner


Luis Kutner, Flights and Cascades: Poems (Chicago: A. Kroch, 1948)

_________, Moon Splashed: Poems (Chicago: A. Kroch, 1948)

_________, Red Wine and Shadows: Poems ([Chicago]: A. Kroch, 1948)


Laurin Hall Healy & Luis Kutner, The Admiral (Chicago: Ziff-Davis Publishing Co., 1944)

Luis Kutner, World Habeas Corpus: A Proposal for an International Court of Habeas Corpus and the United Nations Writ of Habeas Corpus (Chicago: World Freedom Press, 1958)

__________, World Habeas Corpus (Dobbs Ferry, New York: Oceana Publications, 1962)(Roscoe Pound foreword)

Luis Kutner, I, the Lawyer (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1966)

_________ (ed.), The Human Right to Individual Freedom: A Symposium on World Habeas Corpus (Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press, 1970)(Roscoe Pound intro.)

_________, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Future Security (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970)

_________, Legal Aspects of Charitable Trusts and Foundations: A Guide for Philanthropoids (New York: Commerce Clearing House, 1970)

_________, Due Process of Rebellion (Chicago: Bardian House, 1974)

__________, How to Be a Wise Widow (New York: Dodd Mead, 1974)

__________, The Trialle of William Shakespeare: Beinge a Playe in 3 Acts to be Rede and/or Performed (Chicago, Bardian House Publishers, 1974)

Writings: Articles

Luis Kutner, Proposal for a United Nations Writ of Habeas Corpus and an International Court of Human Rights, 28 Tul. L. Rev. 417 (1954)

_________, World Habeas Corpus for International Man: A Credo for International Due Process of Law, 36 U. Det. L.J. 235 (1958)

_________, The Case for an International Writ of Habeas Corpus: A Reply, 37 U. Det. L.J. 605 (1960)

_________, Due Process of Economy: A Proposal for a United States Economy Court, 15 U. Miami L. Rev. 341 (1960)

_________, Habeas Proprietatem: An International Remedy for Wrongful Seizures for Property, 38 U. Det. L.J. 419 (1960)

_________, An International Writ of Habeas Corpus: Protection of Personal Liberty in a World of Diverse Systems of Public Order, 22 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 469 (1960)(with Beverly May Carl)

_________, World Habeas Corpus: A Legal Absolute for Survival, 39 U. Det. L.J. 279 (1961)

_________, Due Process of Economy: Antitrust Control of Labor, 24 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 1 (1962)

_________, Unfair Comment: A Warning to News Media, 17 U. Miami L. Rev. 51 (1962)

_________, Illusion of Due Process in Commitment Proceedings, 57 Nw. U. L. Rev. 383 (1962)

_________, Due Process of Outer-Space Law: The International Cosmos Court: A Proposal, 39 U. Det. L.J. 685 (1962)

_________, Habeas Proprietatem: Due Proces for International Investments: A Prior Consideration for Investments Abroad, 40 U. Det. L.J. 617 (1963)

_________, World Habeas Corpus and International Extradition, 41 U. Det. L.J. 525 (1964)

_________, World Habeas Corpus: The Legal Ultimate for the Unity of Mankind, 40 Notre Dame L. 570 (1964)

_________, World Habeas Corpus: Legal Ligament for Political Diversity, 43 U. Det. L.J. 79 (1965)

_________, Crime—Torts: Due Process of Compensation for Crime Victims, 41 Notre Dame L. 487 (1966)

_________, Charitable Trust Legislation in the Several States, 61 Nw. U. L. Rev. 411 (1967)(with Henry H. Koven)

_________, Due Process of Family Privacy: World Civil Liberty and World Habeas Corpus, 28 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 597 (1967)

_________, The Neglected Ninth Amendment: The Other Rights Retained by the People, 51 Marq. L. Rev. 121 (1967)

_________, International Due Process for Prisoners of War: The Need for a Special Tribunal of World Habeas Corpus, 21 U. Miami L. Rev. 721 (1967)

_________, Due Process of War: An Ad Hoc War Crimes Tribunal: A Proposal, 43 Notre Dame L. 481 (1968)

_________, Habeas Scholastica: An Ombudsman for Academic Due Process— Proposal, 23 U. Miami L. Rev. 107 (1968)

_________, Habeas Marinus: Due Process of Inner Space—A Proposal, 22 U. Miami L. Rev. 629 (1968)

_________, Due Process of Abortion, 53 Minn. L. Rev 1 (1968)

_________, Due Process of Euthanasia: The Living Will, A Proposal, 44 Ind. L.J. 539 (1969)

_________, World Habeas Corpus: Ombudsman for Mankind, 24 U. Miami L. Rev. 352 (1969)

_________, Due Process of Human Transplants: A Proposal, 24 U. Miami L. Rev. 782 (1970)

_________, Commentary: A Trilogy on Great Philosophers in the Law, 55 Marq. L. Rev. 255 (1972)

_________, Executive Privilege—Growth of Power over a Declining Congress, 20 Loy. L. Rev. 33 (1973)

_________, Nixon v. Cox: Due Process of Executive Authority, 48 St. John's L. Rev. 441 (1973)

_________, Constructive Notice: A Proposal to End International Terrorism, 19 N. Y. L. F. 325 (1973)

_________, Euthanasia: Due Process for Death with Dignity: The Living Will, 54 Ind. L.J. 201 (1978)

_________, Soviet Jewry and World Habeas Corpus, 37 Okla. L. Rev. 495 (1984)

_________, The Living Will: The Epitome of Human Dignity in Coping with the Historical Event of Death, 64 U. Det. L. Rev. 661 (1987)

__________, Our Extraconstitutional Census, 68 U. Det. L. Rev. 117 (1991)

__________, Jesus Before the Sanhedrin, 69 U. Det. L. Rev. 1 (1991)

Research Resources

Luis Kutner Papers (1916-1981)
Chicago Historical Society Library
Chicago, Illinois