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Spring 2022 Course

From Nuremberg to The Hague– Law, The Individual and the Group

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This course will explore the origins of modern international criminal law and looks at their impact on current directions. It takes the trial of Nazi leaders at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg – with a particular focus on ‘genocide’ (protection of groups) and ‘crimes against humanity’ (protection of individuals) – to explore the impact in the 1990’s, when the international criminal law project was “re-born” with the creation of the ad-hoc international criminal tribunals and then the International Criminal Court.

The course examines how law is created, interpreted and represented, and shapes our understanding of events over time and among different communities, and through different disciplines and mediums. Using Professor Sands’ book East West Street as a core text, we will consider the role of individuals and how the precedent of Nuremberg has been represented in law, history, literature, and film over the decades; how it has come to have different meanings at different times and in different places in the world; and how it has shaped subsequent developments, from the Yugoslav and Rwanda Tribunals, to the International Criminal Court, and proceedings in domestic courts, such as Pinochet.

The course will thus be a study of law itself, how it operates in the world, and of the origins of international criminal law.

Note: This course will meet from March 21 to April 20, 2022, with class sessions being held on all Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well as two Mondays (specific dates for the Monday sessions will be posted on the course page closer to the start of the term).