14 May 2018
Last month, students of our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) travelled to Nuremberg where they visited key transitional justice sites, met leading experts and exchanged with other students from Germany and Israel.
‘Nuremberg is a key place for thinking and reflecting about transitional justice as a contemporary response to mass atrocity’ recalls Thomas Unger, former Co-Director of the MTJ. ‘The study trip is an important part of the programme. It allows students, like clinical work, research internships or participation in moot courts, to gain a more concrete view of the concepts and problems we’ve studied in classes’ adds Frank Haldemann, former Co-Director of the MTJ.
As part of the study trip’s programme, students visited the Nuremberg Trial Courthouse and Courtroom 600 – where leaders of the Nazi regime had to respond for their crimes before an International Military Tribunal – and attended a presentation by the Director of the Memorium Nuremberg Trials, Henrike Claussen.
They also visited the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds and its permanent exhibition ‘Fascination and Terror’ which informs visitors about the causes, the context and the repercussions of the National Socialist reign of terror. The Director Florian Dierl discussed with MTJ students the impact of the educational programme and exhibitions on the public, as well as the use of new technologies and multi-media platforms in the design of future educational programmes and exhibitions.
‘The study trip to Nuremberg has been one of the most cherished experiences of the programme. As students of transitional justice, it was fascinating to go back in history to some of the significant moments of international criminal justice’ underlines Arpita Mitra.
As the city is home to the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen (FAU), MTJ students also had the opportunity to meet leading experts in transitional justice and international criminal law, as well as other students from Nuremberg and Israel.
They notably discussed the crimes of aggression and the nuances involved in ‘dealing with the past’ with Professor Christoph Safferling, Chair for Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, International Criminal Law and Public International Law at FAU. They also met and exchanged with Don Ferencz, Visiting Professor at the Middlesex University School of Law and the Convenor of the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression.
‘This trip has significantly strengthened my ambition to work on dealing with the past mechanisms, to critically reflect on how it’s been done in the past – and thus to enhance our response in the future. I’m especially thankful to have met with students from Israel and Nuremberg, with whom we could discuss these issues at length’ stresses Emilie Di Grazia.
Sharon Braekman is pursuing a MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law at the Geneva Academy. She tells us about her background, the programme and what it will bring to her career.
During one week, Francesca Gortan, Sarah Surget and Sophie Timmermans represented the Geneva Academy at the 38th Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that took place in Durrës, Albania, from 19 to 26 March.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, reviews the origins of international criminal law, its relationship with the international legal order including the UN Security Council and its coexistence with national justice institutions. The scope of international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression – is considered alongside initiatives to expand or add to these categories.