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, 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.
The Geneva Academy team – Anna Lochhead-Sperling and Paula Padrino Vilela who are currently enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – successfully qualified for the oral rounds in the Nelson Mandela moot court.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
Besides an in-depth study of various areas related to transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law, three different tracks – Thematic Focus, Clinical Work or Academic Research – allow students to pursue their particular interests.
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, will reflect on the current human rights challenges and how to move the human rights agenda forward.
UN Photo/Stuart Price
This project aims at mapping various existing accountability mechanisms, in the context of military interventions, through the lens of the requirements of a transitional justice process in order to identify possibilities and gaps.
This project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, investigated the relevance of international law in relation to such demands for reparation.