Hans Köchler (born 18 October 1948) is a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations. In his general philosophical outlook he is influenced by Husserl and Heidegger, his legal thinking has been shaped by the approach of Kelsen. Köchler has made major contributions to phenomenology and philosophical anthropology and has developed a hermeneutics of trans-cultural understanding that has influenced the discourse on the dialogue of civilizations (a term which he used for the first time in 1972), particularly as regards the relations between Islam and the West. His research in political and legal philosophy—combined with his involvement with the UN—has resulted in a fundamental critique of the state-centered international system and in specific proposals for the democratization of the United Nations Organization and for a viable system of international criminal justice.Köchler has long worked on the philosophical basis of international relations. He came to prominence in the world of international politics when he was nominated by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as an observer at the Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie) bombing trial.