case western reserve university



Case to co-host panel discussion on contemporary relevance of Nuremberg trials

In March 1945, as World War II in Europe was drawing to a close, Allied nations began negotiations to establish the world's first international war crimes tribunal to try leaders of the defeated Nazi regime. On the 60th anniversary of what became known as the Nuremberg Charter, the Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group (GCILG) will present a panel discussion titled: “From Hermann Goering to Saddam Hussein: The Contemporary Relevance of Nuremberg.”

The event will take place Tuesday, March 15, beginning at noon at the Cleveland City Club, 850 Euclid Ave.

The panel will feature three of the world’s foremost experts on international war crimes tribunals: Henry King, a Case law professor who was a member of the prosecution team at the Nuremberg trials; Leila Nadya Sadat, the Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law, a former member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and winner of the International Association of Penal Law's Book of the Year Award for The International Criminal Court and the Transformation of International Law; and Michael Scharf, professor at Case law school and director of the Cox Center and its War Crimes Research Office, and a nominee for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for his work assisting international war crimes tribunals.

Discussion will be in “Cross Fire” format, with Scharf moderating. In light of the mixed record of the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the discussion will begin with the question of whether international trials are successful in convincing the people of a country that their leaders were actually guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The panelists will then examine the question of whether amnesty is sometimes better than prosecution for indicted war criminals such as Charles Taylor, the Liberian president who has been given asylum in Nigeria. Next the discussion will turn to the fact that the Iraqi Special Tribunal is the first international tribunal since Nuremberg to include in its jurisdiction the crime of “aggression.” The experts will explain why the other modern international tribunals have excluded this offense and consider the implications of charging Saddam Hussein with this crime.

Finally, the panelists will discuss whether the U.S. government has anything to fear from the International Criminal Court and whether the United States stands to lose more than it gains from its current policy of opposing the Court.

The event is open to the public. The cost to attend, which includes lunch, is $25 for GCLIG members, $30 for non-members and $10 for students. For reservations or more information contact Kathy Jablonski at (216) 696-0740 or


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Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.