Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law Dean Tom Campbell and Professor Michael Bazyler visited Nuremberg, Germany July 17-26, 2015, with members of the California Judges Association and Creighton University School of Law for the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Nazi war crimes trial before the International Military Tribunal. The trial is universally recognized as one of the most significant criminal trials in history and marked the beginning of international criminal law as a modern discipline.
“This was an amazing event, bringing a group of California judges to the courtroom where 70 years ago the Nazi arch-criminals were tried and where modern international criminal law was born,” said Professor Michael Bazyler.
“No one who sees that courtroom, or goes to Auschwitz or Dachau, as our group did, can ever be the same. Professor Bazyler is an internationally recognized expert on holocaust law, and he created an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Dean Tom Campbell.
Dean Campbell pointed to an important takeaway that was shared by Fowler School of Law Board of Advisors member and adjunct professor Justice Richard Fybel during a keynote address in Courtroom 600 of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg: “He spoke of the shocking truth that of all the German judges at the time, only one, possibly two, retired or resigned rather than carry out the Nazi program. This is an alarming reminder to all who study and practice law of the fragility of legal institutions.”
The Dean added: “U.S. Ambassador John Emerson also gave a most impressive speech, emphasizing how far Germany, and the world, have come since the Nazi war crime trials – and how vigilant we must continue to be to uphold the rule of law. I have never made a more meaningful trip in my life.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to meet Nuremberg city council officials, attorneys and scholars, and visit surrounding historical sites including the Nazi Rally Grounds, Documentation Center and Dachau. Following the conference in Nuremberg, Dean Campbell and Professor Bazyler traveled to Poland to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Also in attendance was Stephanie Lincoln (’13), who joined Dean Campbell and Professor Bazyler to film a video summary of the event for the Fowler School of Law. Since graduating, Stephanie has focused her career on the production of documentary films in both law-related and non-legal topics.
The event was co-sponsored by the Creighton University School of Law’s N70 Program and the California Judges Association. Professor Bazyler regularly works with Creighton University School of Law to present a summer program,
From Nuremberg to the Hague
, focused on the Nuremberg trial. Fowler School of Law students have participated in the program since its inception in 2011.
The Law Library will host a talk and discussion by Professor Bazyler of his book
Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust
on November 5.