On 17 March 2022, the Nuremberg Academy participated in an online expert forum entitled ‘Denial laws. Experiences and perspectives’, jointly organised by the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation, the Global Diplomacy Lab and Museo Sitio de Memoria ESMA. The event brought together a panel of experts in the fields of law and social sciences, to debate different perspectives on how post-conflict societies can protect their history and collective memory from the growing threat of denialism. In doing so, the panellists discussed the current landscape of denial laws in Germany, Argentina and globally; their impact on freedom of expression and the victims’ right to truth as well as their effectiveness in addressing denialism. The panel considered ongoing debates in Argentina on how to prevent denialism from hindering victims’ longstanding fight for justice and from fostering social conflict. The event highlighted the challenges of creating public policy that protects a country’s collective memory and prevents forms of hate speech while respecting the right to freedom of speech. The panellists further reflected on possible alternative avenues for achieving such a balance, other than by criminalizing denialism in domestic legal systems.
The panel was composed by Mr. Ricardo Izquierdo, Senior Officer for International Criminal Law of the Nuremberg Academy, Dr. Julia Geneuss, LL.M. (NYU) from Universität Hamburg, Dr. Andrea Pochak, Subsecretary of Protection and International Relations on Human Rights from the Secretary of Human Rights of Argentina, and Dr. Alejandro Alagia, Head of the Criminal Law department at the University of Buenos Aires and former General Prosecutor in the trials for crimes against humanity committed during the dictatorship in Argentina. The event was moderated by Dr. Vivian Valencia, Assistant Professor at Wageningen University & Research and member of the Global Diplomacy Lab.