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29 Students Travel Abroad to Study International Law

Twenty-nine students, including two from Nairobi, Kenya, spent a month this summer in Germany and the Netherlands studying international law — and how traumatic societal events like the Holocaust impact the law — as part of a new study-abroad program, "From Nuremberg to The Hague," offered through the Creighton Law School. (The class is pictured at left at Dachau.)

“In line with its mission of service and justice, Creighton Law School was thrilled to create this new program for students in Germany,” said Michael Kelly, professor of law and associate dean for international programs, who coordinated the program. “Teaching classes about societal wrongs and the plight of victims in the very place they occurred is a remarkable experience for both students and teachers.

“It is vitally important that younger generations never forget the Holocaust and become imbued with a sense of vigilance and care for their fellow man.”

Guided by leading faculty in international law, students explored the theoretical and practical reaches of major international crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression. They also studied the influence of the Holocaust on the development of international crimes, human rights law, peremptory norms, transitional justice, hate speech prohibitions, genocide denial laws and modern governmental bureaucracies.

Classes were held at the Nuremberg State Museum, site of the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds, near the city center. Nuremberg, which hosted the Nazi war crimes trials after World War II, is widely regarded as the birthplace of modern international criminal law.

Students also visited The Hague, where war criminals are currently being prosecuted in the International Criminal Court, the Special Chambers of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Classroom work was enriched with field trips to such sites as the Dachau Concentration Camp and the War Crimes Documentation Center at Philipps University in Marburg. The War Crimes Documentation Center and Philipps University helped co-sponsor the program, along with the U.S. National Section of the International Association of Penal Law.