Book Presentation and Discussion - From Streicher to Šešelj: The Origins and Outlook of Atrocity Speech Law


On 7 June 2018, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy hosted a book presentation and discussion by Professor Gregory S. Gordon of the Chinese University of Hong Kong of his new book Atrocity Speech Law: Foundation, Fragmentation, Fruition (Oxford University Press 2017).

The event which was held in the historic Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice analyzed the different dimensions of the jurisprudence related to "Atrocity Speech Law", a term conceived by Professor Gordon which encompasses the whole spectrum of hate speech and its relationship with international crimes.

Professor Gordon presented the history of the area and its impact on the commission of atrocities during different historical conflicts. He further showcased the gradual fragmentation of the related jurisprudence especially due to the incoherence of the approaches of various international tribunals. He proposed the necessary reformation of the elements of key crimes and other related areas required for the necessary fruition and effective application of Atrocity Speech Law.

The presentation examined the legacy of the Nuremberg trials and the relevance of the cases of Julius Streicher and Otto Dietrich in the development of Atrocity speech related jurisprudence. Specific focus was also given to the media cases of the International Crime Tribunal for Rwanda and the recently concluded Šešelj case at the ICTY and the succeeding MICT.

The presentation concluded with a lively interaction with the audience who asked Professor Gordon to elaborate on certain arguments set out in the book and on his perceptions of a wide variety of related issues drawing on his years of experience working in the field of International Criminal Law.

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