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June 24th, 2022

"The Trial Against the Emperor" | The Planning of the First International Tribunal

In cooperation with the Ruhr University Bochum, Friedensplenum Bochum and DFG-VK.

Location: Bochumer Fenster, Massenbergstraße 9, 44787 Bochum, Germany
Admission: 6:30 p.m.
End: 20:30 h

(Please note that masks are mandatory!)

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Lecture and discussion on the occasion of the book presentation

Welcome
PD Dr. Irmtrud Wojak (Fritz Bauer Forum)
Wolfgang Dominik (Peace Plenum and DFG-VK)
Prof. Dr. Sabine Swoboda (Ruhr University Bochum)

Lecture on the book
“The Trial of the Emperor”
Prof. Dr. William Schabas (Middlesex University, London)

Commentary
Andreas Zumach (Freelance Correspondent, Berlin)

Followed by discussion with the participants and follow-up questions from the audience.


Kaiser Wilhelm II was the first head of state who should be held accountable on the basis of a new interpretation of international law after the defeat of Germany in the First World War. For “a grave crime against the international moral law and the sanctity of treaties” – as stated in Article 227 of the Treaty of Versailles, which Germany signed.

Professor William A. Schabas, an international law scholar and recognized expert on human rights, traces in fascinating detail one of the seminal chapters of the 20th century. It should become the first international criminal trial for a criminal war of aggression.

“In 1919, delegates to the Paris Peace Conference debated whether a head of state could be prosecuted for launching a war of aggression. A century later, the issue could not be more relevant. As Mark Twain once said, ‘history doesn’t repeat itself, but often it rhymes.'”
William A. Schabas

“The Ukraine war has once again highlighted the urgent need but at the same time the difficulty of prosecuting those responsible for war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggressive war.”
Andreas Zumach


William A. Schabas (Canada) is Professor of International Law at Middlesex University in London, Professor of International Criminal Law and Human Rights at Leiden University, and Professor Emeritus of Human Rights at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Andreas Zumach (Germany) is a journalist and publicist. From 1988 to 2020, he was Switzerland and UN correspondent for the tageszeitung (taz) in Geneva. He works as a freelance correspondent for German- and English-language print and broadcast media.

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