legal theory

Among the more captivating women who worked at the 1st Nuremberg trial – women whose stories I’m now researching – was Dame Laura Knight. Already celebrated as the 1st woman in over 150 years to win election to Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, Knight, then 68, arrived in January 1946, about a third of the way before the year-long proceedings before the International Military Tribunal. Soon after her departure 4 months later she unveiled a 5-foot by 6-foot oil painting, “The Nuremberg Trial,” at a London exhibition.

That work forms the centerpiece of “What We See When We See Law … Through the Eyes of Dame Laura Knight,” my contribution Monday to an ongoing Opinio Juris symposium on Justice as Message: Expressivist Foundations of International Criminal Justice, a new Oxford University Press book by Carsten Stahn, an international criminal law professor at Leiden Law School and Queen’s University Belfast.

My post began by discussing Stahn’s 2020 book in light of my own 2002 article about expressivist theories and international criminal law. The focus was Nuremberg: not only is it much-discussed in Stahn’s book, but the book’s cover features her 1946 painting, pictured above. Those facts launched my post’s cameo about Knight-as-messenger, available here.

Contributors of other posts in the ongoing book series include Marina Aksenova, Mark A. Drumbl, Angela Mudukuti, Darryl Robinson, Priya Urs, and Stahn himself.

The inaugural Global History and International Law seminar (prior post) concluded today with a final session, entitled “New Methodological Perspectives.”

Several of us who had discussed our scholarship earlier in the summer-long seminar were honored to return. Focusing on the methodologies that informed our work were:

  • Daniel Joyce, of the law school at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, on “International Law’s Objects” and  International Law’s Objects (OUP 2018), the essay collection he co-edited with Jessie Hohmann.
  • Kerstin von Lingen, Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna. Her concluding remarks on “Transnational Biographies and Legal Flows” related both to her seminar presentation, “Epistemic Communities in Exile: Coining ‘Crimes against Humanity’ at London, 1940-45” (podcast), a new book and article on the same topic, and books like Transcultural Justice: The Tokyo Tribunal and the Allied Struggle for Justice, 1946-1948 (Brill 2018), which she edited.
  • Yours truly, Diane Marie Amann, Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law. My concluding remarks on “Intersectional Approach” (2 slides pictured at top) related both to my seminar presentation, “Intersectional Sovereignties: Dr. Aline Chalufour, Woman at Nuremberg – and at Paris, Ottawa, and Dalat” (podcast), and to my in-progress book on the roles that women played at the Trial of the Major War Criminals before to the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. (prior posts)
  • A. Dirk Moses, Department of History, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, on “Conceptualizing Genocide and Mass Violence.” His concluding remarks related to his seminar presentation, “Genocide in Historical Perspective. The Language of Trangression” (podcast), and his book The Problems of Genocide. Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (forthcoming CUP 2021).

Leading the stimulating discussion that followed was one of the seminar’s earlier discussants, Charles S. Maier, emeritus professor of history at Harvard University, along with the seminar’s founding organizer, Anne-Sophie Schoepfel of SciencesPo.

Schoepfel, who will soon take up a postdoc position at Harvard’s Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, announced that the Global History and International Law seminar will continue, with the next edition focusing on geographies of justice.

A podcast of today’s session soon will be available here.