The International Criminal Court

There are many opinions surrounding the practices of International Criminal Courts and how they are conducted.

The headquarters of the International Criminal Court rests in the Hague in the Netherlands. It is considered a permanent international institution created to determine and prosecute cases of and individuals for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and (as of 2017) crimes of aggression.

Established in 2002, the origins of foundation began in 1872 with  with Gustav Moynier – who proposed a permanent court in response to the crimes of the Franco-Prussian War. The next serious call for an internationalized system of justice came from the drafters of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, who envisaged an ad hoc international court to try the Kaiser and German war criminals of World War I. Following World War II, the Allies set up the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals to try Axis war criminals.

There are 122 countries that are considered state parties statute to the court and 31 countries who have signed but not ratified the courts statute.

There are many controversies over which countries have been selected for court proceedings and which have not. The African Union in particular, has accused the ICC of targeting the African continent.


ICC Website

ICC Wikipedia

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Portland State University Fall 2014 Classes!

Holocaust and Genocide Studies, as we talk about often, covers and crosses many disciplines and majors. Here at Portland State University, there are many classes that lend themselves to the discussion of genocide. Here are a few that are being taught in the Fall semester of 2014.


10198 Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict

15119 Special Topics: Evil and Hate 


11521 Native American/ East Native American History 

15374 Mexican- American History


11599 The European Union


15359  SPST: Violence, Rebellion, and Civil War

14741 War and Morality

Other disciplines to cross reference are Black Studies, Chicano-Latino Studies, Native American Studies, Judaic Studies, and Women’s Studies. 

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New HGS Event

As we brainstorm for ways to reach out to our community, we have started with our Talk it Out: Student Led Discussion Events. A chance for students to discuss those topics that can feel hard to discuss in a casual setting but often aren’t able to be discussed at length in a classroom either. The HGS Project offers it with pizza and soda.

Our first one debuts May 28th, at 7 p.m. in Room 445 Neuberger Hall

Our topic is, as asked for by students-

Genocide beyond the Numbers or- Stories from the Holocaust

We will continue with this project through the next academic year and will be taking ideas and thoughts for discussion topics here and through our email at Please let us know! We love feedback!

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 It has been a year of transition and creation for the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project. We have new leadership and some new Advisory Board members and we have some very exciting new events to look forward to next year.

  This year, we were very fortunate to have Stanford University’s Professor David Cohen visit us and discuss his work on International Criminal Courts. He had an amazing power point that really illustrated the world of the criminal courts in the areas of Africa and Asia that he works in.  There is a link to the video of that evening in a post below.

   In February and March, we also held a wonderfully attended film series led by Professor Patricia Schecter, Chair of HGS, centering on the Question of Genocide in Native North American History. Our audience each night was diverse and asked thoughtful questions that raised further dialogue for the entire room.

 We especially want to thank Professor Andrew Cohen for sharing the film series information with so many students at Portland Community College.


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President Obama honored by USC Shoah Foundation


obama1In Recognition of his efforts to protect human rights, his commitment to education and his work advancing opportunities for all people, President Barack Obama was presented May 7, 2014 with the Ambassador for Humanity Award by Steven Spielberg, USC trustee and founder of USC Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education.

Link to full article here

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Advancing your knowledge in Genocide Studies

As the field of Genocide studies continues to grow and expand across many academic fields, Universities and Colleges have started to create programs of study to accommodate and support this growing discipline and focus. Historians, Political Scientists, International Studies Majors, and Sociologists are among the many who seek a Masters and/or Doctoral Degree in this field. Here are just a few of the schools in the United States.

Clark College‘s Strassler Center  in Massachusetts
Yale University‘s Genocide Studies Program in Connecticut
West Chester University Holocaust and Genocide Studies program in New York

And just announced and linked to the Shoah Foundation, the University of Southern California will be opening A Center for Advanced Genocide Research.

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Armenian Genocide

This year was the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. As we think about this event in world history, an event that prompted Raphael Lemkin to create the word Genocide, let us remember the victims of this event and remember their stories.

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