Center for the Study of Law and Genocide
In 2008, Loyola Law School inaugurated the Center for the Study of Law and Genocide (CSLG). The year marked the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Despite two generations having passed since the seminal treaty, and all the progress made in international and domestic law towards preventing and punishing genocide and mass atrocities, the nightmare still persists without an apparent end. The history of genocide is a bloody trail running the whole length of the 20th century and linking the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust and Sudan to name an unfortunate few. In recent years, humanity has found the courage to bring to justice some of those most responsible for genocide and mass atrocities. But rarely, and with great difficulty, do victims find adequate legal remedies and compensation for their suffering.
In the 1930s, Loyola Law School was among the first to introduce in its curriculum the study of legal remedies as a distinct discipline. Building on its mission and tradition of producing and promoting legal scholarship, training legal practitioners and community leaders and fostering social justice, Loyola Law School launched the Center for the Study of Law and Genocide. Initially funded with Armenian Insurance Settlement Funds, the Center for the Study of Law and Genocide has a two-fold mission:
1. To promote legal scholarship on genocide and mass violations of human rights with a particular focus on improving and making more accessible and effective legal resources and remedies both in the United States as well as internationally. As part of its mission, the CSLG awards the Raphael Lemkin Award. Video inset: CSLG Director Stan Goldman bestowed the Raphael Lemkin Award on Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz in March 2015. Read more about the award and previous distinguished recipients.
2. To train current and future legal practitioners on using existing remedies, domestic and international, to help victims of genocide and mass violations of human rights achieve a measure of justice.
The Center for the Study of Law and Genocide carries out its mission by:
- Organizing conferences and symposia to develop, study and disseminate new insight into the social, political, economic and historical dynamics leading to genocide and mass atrocities; domestic and international responses; legal implications; use of domestic and international laws to pursue retribution and compensation.
- Creating and funding an academic chair on genocide law and policy at Loyola Law School.
- Supporting visiting scholars and summer internships with domestic and international institutions engaged in litigation and advocacy on these issues.
- Establishing a genocide and mass atrocities law clinic to engage students in a broad spectrum of advocacy activities related to genocide and mass atrocities, including how to pursue claims for restitution and assistance to victims, providing them with a uniquely focused and practical learning tool.
The Center for the Study of Law and Genocide is a unique center, the first at any US law school to focus on remedies and victims of genocide and mass atrocities. It couples intellectual research and practical advocacy with the aim of helping victims achieve justice.