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, 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, 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.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
From the peace agreement in Colombia to the situation in the Central African Republic or the role of armed non-state actors in transitional justice processes, seven Transitional Justice Cafés allowed students of the Master in Transitional Justice to discuss topical issues with leading expert in the field.
In this interview, Firouzeh Mitchell, currently enrolled in the Master in Transitional Justice, tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
This project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, investigated the relevance of international law in relation to such demands for reparation.
As a comprehensive attempt to ‘codify’ universal accountability norms, the UN Principles marked a significant step forward in the debate on the obligation of states to combat impunity in its various forms. Despite this significance, no comprehensive academic commentary of the 38 principles has yet been provided so far. This project seeks to fill this gap.