Welcome to the Center for the Study of Law and Genocide's event archive. Explore the past events CLSG has held listed below.
Symposium: “When It Can't Happen Here: Genocide in an Age of Nationalism” February 28, 2020
Nationalism is on the rise, globally and in the United States. Politicians espousing nationalist principles now lead countries as diverse as Britain, China, India, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, Brazil, and the United States. Much of their popularity rests on policies and agendas driven by narrowly defined meanings of national identity, including culture, heritage, language, religion, ethnicity, and race.
Ostensibly, nationalism as an ideology elicits no suggestion of violence. Yet, in practice, strident nationalism often creates an environment in which assertive ideologies may materialize in violent ways. Nationalistic ideologies were the key motivators in some of the past century’s worst atrocities, enabled by inflammatory rhetoric, the building of walls and borders (whether real or imagined), and laws targeting those perceived as threats to the national order.
For anyone who remembers the nationalist-driven violence of the 20th century and fears its return, this resurgence of global nationalism in the 21st century is cause for concern. Without scrutiny and attention, the harmful developments transpiring in our midst may once again lead to mass atrocities and genocide. Understanding the connections between nationalism and genocide is fundamental to our prevention of such harms.
The morning panel of experts addressed some of these connections and how to combat them. Panelists included historian Elizabeth Drummond (LMU History Department), lawyer and activist Ann Strimov Durbin (Jewish World Watch), civil rights activist and community leader Richard Hirschhaut (American Jewish Committee L.A.), and lawyer Stanley Goldman (LLS Professor of Law and Director of the Center). Watch the morning panel here.
Benjamin Ferencz delivered the lunch keynote live via telephone from his home, just a few weeks before celebrating his 100th birthday. Ben is a renowned humanitarian and giant of international criminal law--the last living prosecutor at the post-World War II Nuremberg trials and a lifelong advocate for law as a means of achieving peace. His message to students helped inspire a new generation of warriors for justice. Watch the video of Ben's address here.
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Event
April 9, 2019
The Center for the Study of Law and Genocide at Loyola Law School welcomed Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh, Professor of Art History at the University of California-Davis and author of the newly released book, The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice (Stanford University Press 2019). Her book followed the story of the missing Canon Tables--beautifully decorated pages from the illuminated manuscript of the Zeyt'un Gospels--from medieval Armenia to the Armenian Genocide, when they were ripped from the original manuscript, and ultimately to The J. Paul Getty Museum and a Los Angeles courtroom. Watch the video of this event and Heghnar's address here.
Symposium: “New Challenges to Justice: Genocide in the 21st Century”
October 11-12, 2018
This conference, bringing together legal academics, historians, activists, and survivors, asked the questions: Where is law now? How should it respond to these challenges, and what role can it play going forward? Genocide was arguably occurring then in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Syria, and Myanmar (the Rohingya), and already occurred in Darfur. Though the ICC had found its footing, the limitations of international prosecutions were also evident. In the wake of Holocaust restitution settlements, other victim groups tried and failed to replicate that success—despite an ever-growing body of international soft law espousing the basic principles of compensation for victims. In 2017, is law the solution? It was unclear whether the international community can muster the political will and leadership to carry these challenges forward. This conference sought to find an answer.
Featured the following speakers and moderators: David Akerson, Michael Bazyler, Margarete Myers Feinstein, Amy Friedman Cecil, Sam Garkawe, R. Michael Ghilezan, David Glazier, Stanley Goldman, Jeanne Hallacy, Jessica Peake, Rakija Shah, Ann Strimov Durbin, and Dydine Umunyana
Lunchtime Lecture: Laura Brill: Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation
March 21, 2018
Well-known appellate lawyer Laura Brill gave a lunchtime lecture on the long-running case of Cassier v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation. This case, originally field in the Central District of California in 2005, was brought by the heirs of the Jewish woman forced to “sell” her valuable painting, “Rue Saint-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Plue,” by leading French Impressionist Camille Pissarro to a Nazi-appointed art dealer in 1939. The case had been on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals no less than three times. In July 2017, the Court reversed summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings.
Symposium: “The Nuremberg Laws and Trials”
February 28, 2017
International criminal law was created in Nuremberg in response to the atrocities committed in World War II. Unfortunately, in the modern era, many roadblocks prevent the enforcement of the principles of international law and justice. This symposium discussed the trials and legacy of Nuremberg.
Lunch Panel: “Tales from Phnom Penh, Cambodia: From the 1970s Genocide to Now”
February 16, 2016
Featuring Professor John Hall, Stephanie Lincoln, and Gayane Khechoomian ‘13, the panel took time to follow the Cambodian Genocide and the events following. Professor Hall specializes in Cambodian history at Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University. Stephanie Lincoln, a filmmaker, lawyer, and alumna of Chapman Univeristy, works related a documentary on the Vietnamese in Cambodia. Gayane Khechoomian is a lawyer, former LLS alumna, and served at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which works to prosecute crimes committed during the Cambodian Genocide.
Symposium: “Nuremberg: The Birth of Modern International Criminal Law”
November 20, 2015
As a 70th Anniversary Commemoration, the Center of the Study of Law and Genocide held a symposium to discuss the impact of the Nuremberg Trials in the creation of International Criminal Law. Featuring the only live-stream of the commemoration events in Nuremberg, Germany sponsored by the German Consulate and a phone-in interview with Benjamin Ferencz, the symposium reflects on the Nuremburg Trials and the process undertaken to make sense out of madness.
Symposium: “100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide”
November 20, 2015
Featuring speeches and presentations by Brian Kabateck, Mark Geragos, Armenian Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Professor Richard Dekmejian, and Los Angeles judge Shelley Kaufman, this event explores the resounding aftermath of the Armenian Genocide and the pursuit of justice in the decades following.
Lemkin Award Honoree Dinner: Taner Akçam
March 24, 2013
Turkish-German historian and scholar on the Armenian Genocide Taner Akçam was jailed for speaking out against the Turkish government. In 2011, in a significant human rights and free speech victory, the European Court of Human Rights found that Turkey had violated Akçam’s freedom of expression by threatening to prosecute him for publicly denouncing Turkey’s role in the Armenian Genocide under a Turkish law that made it a crime to insult “Turkishness”. At this dinner, Akçam was awarded the Lemkin Award for his work as an activist criticizing the Turkish government for perpetrating the Armenian Genocide.
Symposium: “Perspectives on Genocide: Istanbul Trials of the Armenian Genocide”
March 23, 2013
At this event, legal scholars examined the Istanbul Trials of the Armenian Genocide. Panelists dove into the context surrounding the trial and explored the results and impact of the trial.
Symposium: “Remnants of Genocide: Reclaiming Art and Other Heirlooms Lost in Atrocities”
March 11, 2011
It may seem strange to discuss the recovery of lost property, such as art and heirlooms, when discussing genocide. However, it is a natural topic, as, in the wake of genocide, the victims flee, and what remains are taken by perpetrators as loot. Such objects represent the aspects of the victims’ culture and history, and recovery of those objects constitutes a crucial aspect in achieving justice. It is the duty of lawyers to do justice and aid in such recovery. This symposium explored the importance of and challenges in achieving justice through the recovery of lost property.
Conference: “Perspectives on Genocide: The Eichmann Trial”
September 16, 2011
Loyola Law School’s Center for the Study of Law & Genocide examined the historic Israeli trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann for his role in the Holocaust during the symposium “Perspectives on Genocide: The Adolf Eichmann Trial – Looking Back 50 Years Later,” featuring a keynote presentation by the Hon. Gabriel Bach, senior prosecutor in the 1962 trial. Top international Eichmann and Holocaust experts assessed the importance and impact of what has been described as “the greatest trial of the 20th Century.”
Lemkin Award Honoree Dinner: Gabriel Bach
September 15, 2011
Gabriel Bach was the deputy prosecutor in the 1961 trial of Nazi leader Adolph Eichmann. Eventually in his career, Bach was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Israel, a position he retired from in 1997. The Center awarded Bach the first inaugural Lemkin Award in 2011. Founding Direct Stan Goldman traveled to in Israel to interview Bach on his experiences during the Eichmann trial. Watch the interview titled "Justice in Jerusalem" here.
Symposium: “Litigating Genocide: When, Where, and How -- Case Studies in the Armenian Genocide and Other Historic Human Rights Violations”
February 27, 2009
Speaking in 1999 on Holocaust compensation, then acting Secretary of State for Holocaust issues Stuart Eisenstat said, “There can be no moral closure on the worst crime of the century, of this millennium, and possibly of all world history. There can only be an effort to make some moral recompense, to do imperfect justice to those who still survive." This symposium sought to address how such imperfect injustice might be achieved, the potential implications of effectuating in us courts, and the practical realities confronting lawyers involved in this sort of litigation.