As finals wind down, and everyone starts to disperse for the break, here is a look back at Dickinson Law holiday festivities. No matter how you spend the break, we wish you all a very relaxing and stress-free time. We look forward to seeing you back in January!
Sometimes research goes in an unexpected direction…researching an account of a Holocaust survivor led to shocking accounts of the brutality of the Nazis during World War II as they attempted to systematically eliminate Jewish people in a way we now understand as genocide. Seventy-three years after the end of World War II, the horrors of the genocide committed by the Nazis are fading as the generation who survived the atrocities passes away and our schools fail to educate students about the Holocaust. We cannot forget what happened then, or the continuing instances of genocide around the world. The staggering numbers of people killed are appalling but don’t convey the horror experienced by individuals who survived genocide. It’s through those personal stories that we learn both the depravity of individuals and the strength one can summon to endure evil.
The Jewish Virtual Library provides a wealth of information about the Holocaust including the basic history of the Holocaust, the persecution, biographies, and the aftermath. From here we can learn about the arc of events in World War II as seen through the lens of time, but other resources provide more detailed stories from individuals who experienced the Nazi concentration camps. These stories tell us what it really meant to endure and survive.
Sadly, the Holocaust is but one of many genocides in recent world history. Others include the Genocide in Darfur, the Rwandan Genocide, Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Killing Fields: The Cambodian Genocide, Mao Tse-tung’s Cultural Revolution, the Rape of Nanking, the Ukrainian Genocide, the Armenian Genocide, the Herero Genocide, the Genocide of Native Americans, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The Genocide Education Project assists educators to teach about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide. Many other resources are also available to assist educators in teaching about genocide.
“The mission of the Foundation for Genocide Education is to work with governments to ensure that genocide and the steps leading to it are taught in high schools in Canada and in the United States.” The Foundation has created a video to explain the importance of genocide education in schools. Unfortunately, genocide is not a relic of our past; it continues today in many locations such as Myanmar, Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan. The Foundation for Genocide Education teaches the 8 stages of genocide which one can witness on the news worldwide. Education is one vital step in preventing future genocides.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum supports and engages in work to prevent genocide. The Early Warning Project is a “tool to alert policy makers and the public to places where the risk for mass atrocities is greatest.” The Responsibility to Protect is a joint project which adopted the principle “Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” as a mandate to protect civilians and prevent mass atrocities. The Genocide Prevention Task Force provided “practical policy recommendations to enhance the capacity of the US government to respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities.” These project are undertaken in cooperation with groups and countries willing to prevent genocide.
As noted in our prior blog post, December 9, 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. With this anniversary, the United Nations is undertaking a campaign to appeal for Universal Ratification by the 45 United Nations Member States who have not yet ratified the Genocide Convention. You read that correctly, even after 70 years, 45 of the 193 member states of United Nations have not ratified the Genocide Convention.
Imagine a world fully committed to the elimination of genocide.
December 9, 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by the United Nations General Assembly. The Convention was adopted on December 9, 1948 and went into force on January 12, 1951, after obtaining the required twenty ratifications.
The term “genocide” can be attributed to Raphael Lemkin, who created the word in 1944 by combining the Greek word “genos,” meaning race or tribe with the Latin word “cide,” which means killing. Genocide was defined by Lemkin as “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of life of national group, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group.” Excerpt from Lemkin’s Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia, Coining a Word and Championing a Cause: The Story of Raphael Lemkin.
Lemkin was a lifelong human rights activist. His efforts began as early as 1933. When Germany invaded Poland, Lemkin fled. He later learned that forty-nine of his family members were murdered in the Holocaust. Lemkin worked tirelessly to have genocide added as a crime on an international level. His commitment paid off through the adoption of the Genocide Convention in 1948. Id.
The Genocide Convention declared genocide a crime under international law. Genocide was defined by the Convention as:
any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group.
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The acts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide and complicity in genocide are all punishable under the Convention. All persons, including rulers, public officials and private individuals are subject to punishment. The nations that ratify the Convention agree to enact appropriate legislation to enforce the provisions of the Convention. Id. Additional information about the Genocide Convention, including documents, video and audio, can be found online through the United Nations, Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs’ Audiovisual Library of International Law.
The United States ratified the Genocide Convention in 1988 when President Ronald Reagan signed the Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987, 18 USC § 1091, into law. In signing the Act, President Reagan remarked, “We gather today to bear witness to the past and learn from its awful example, and to make sure that we’re not condemned to relive its crimes.” Reagan’s full remarks can be found online through the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum.
There is currently a display in the Law Library with resources related to genocide and the Genocide Convention. Some notable sources in the Law Library include:
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide : A Commentary
Christian J. Tams, Lars Berster, and Björn Schiffbauer
Call Number: KZ7180.A61948C66 2014
Documents on the Genocide Convention from the American, British, and Russian Archives
Call Number: KZ7180.A61948A12 2019 v.1 & 2
The United States and the Genocide Convention
Lawrence J. LeBlanc
Call Number: K5302.L43 1991
Raphael Lemkin and the Concept of Genocide
Call Number: KZ7180.I78 2017
Genocide in International Law : The Crime of Crimes
William A. Schabas
Call Number: K5302.S32 2000
An American Genocide : The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe
Call Number: E78.C15M33 2016
East West Street : On the Origins of “Genocide” and “Crimes Against Humanity”
Call Number: KZ7180.S26 2016
In 1949, the Dickinson School of Law was presented with one of the most treasured items in the Archives Collection: a stone from the ruins of the Inner Temple, one of England’s great Inns of Court, which had been largely destroyed during World War II.
Sometime during the 12th Century, the Military Order of the Knights Templar built a church along the River Thames, which became known as the Temple Church. Sometime after the abolition of the Order, the Church, along with its surrounding buildings, was occupied by lawyers, and this space evolved into two of the Inns of Court, the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple.
Several early American lawyers attended the Inns of Court, including nine signers of the Declaration of Independence. John Dickinson, from Pennsylvania, who became known as the “Penman of the American Revolution” and for whom Dickinson College was named, also attended the Inns of Court. Robert F. Boden, The Colonial Bar and the American Revolution, 60 Marq. L. Rev. 1, 3-4 (1976).
Both the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple sustained significant damage during World War II. Both Temples were struck by German bombs several times during the War. Fortunately, for the residents of the Temples, preparations had been made, and air raid shelters constructed in 1939, in anticipation of such attacks. The first bomb struck on September 9, 1940. This bomb fell into the Thames River, and caused damage to pedestal ornaments and windows. The first significant damage occurred on September 19, 1940, when the Clock Tower of the Library was struck. Additional air raids occurred on September 26, October 8, October 16, November 16, December 8, and December 29, 1940. Attacks continued in 1941 on January 1, January 11, January 15, March 14-15, and May 10-11. Sir Francis MacKinnon described the attack of May 10-11 as, “London’s worst ordeal of the war. A huge number of bombs, both high explosive and incendiary, were showered down, and the Temple had its full share of them.” Sir Francis MacKinnon, ed., The Ravages of the War in the Inner Temple 19 (1945). The destruction of the Inner Temple was now complete.
The stone from the ruins of the Inner Temple was presented, in 1949, by the Masters of the Bench of the Honorable Society of the Inner Temple to the Corpus Juris Society of the Law School. The Master of the Rolls, the Rt. Hon. Lord Greene, had assisted the Corpus Juris Society in obtaining the stone. The gift was accompanied by a privately printed copy of The Ravages of the War in the Inner Temple, edited by Sir Frank MacKinnon. T. Edward Munce, Jr., Note, Inner Temple of London Presents Relic, 53 Dick. L. Rev. 283 (1949). The Inner and Middle Temples were subsequently rebuilt.
Before the Fall semester ends and the holiday festivities begin, final exams consume the attention and focus of our law students. Since studying and exam preparation can be especially overwhelming, the Law Library is again providing design pages, markers, and colored pencils at the circulation desk during final exam weeks. Coloring is a fun way to relieve stress and can provide a welcome break from end-of-semester pressures of exams and the expectation of forthcoming grades. Studies indicate that coloring shows promise for treating stress, anxiety, and depression, especially when intricate patterns known as mandalas are used. Choose a design to color individually or take part in a communal color page.
The Law Library has other resources for entertainment. Step away from studying and enjoy watching a movie from the Law Library’s DVD collection. Movies both dramatic and comedic include The Founder (2017), My Cousin Vinny (1989), A Few Good Men (1992), and Independence Day (2013 release of 1996 blockbuster), to name a few. Other leisurely study break activities to try are jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers, and board games.
Treats are also available during the final exam period. The food basket will be at the circulation desk in the evenings after 4:00 pm.
Taking care not to get overly anxious during this pressure-filled time will benefit students’ overall well-being. Unwind, relax, and come on over for some stress relief.
The Law Library staff wishes everyone great success on final exams!
The fall semester is drawing to a close but the Law Library continues to be buzzing. The atmosphere is bustling with students finishing papers and assignments. Exam preparations are underway! As the push to finish outlines and studying begins, we offer a few suggestions for the final weeks of the fall semester.
When preparing for exams, planning collaborative studying with classmates need not be challenging by using the three group study rooms available. They are reserved for 2 hour blocks of time. Please remember to reserve them ahead of the time before your group meets for your study session.
If you aren’t familiar with it, Mersive Solstice equipment is available for wireless content sharing in study rooms 202, 203, and 209. This display allows you to share content from laptops or other devices through the wireless connection or via the keyboard and mouse that are supplied in the study room. There are instructions for using Solstice affixed to the wall in each of the rooms.
We ask that you be mindful of others who may wish to use these rooms for collaborative studying and not monopolize them.
The Law Library offers other areas for individual quiet studying with rooms 207 and 208. These are smaller rooms suited for an individual or small group. On the lower level of the library there are carrels and soft seating for reading.
The close of the semester is a good time to consider returning those research materials borrowed through “I Want It” or Interlibrary Loan that you no longer need. Please return these items to the circulation desk and the library staff will check them in.
Course reserve materials will also be available through the end of the semester. Print reserves are shelved behind the circulation desk if you need to borrow a particular book before exams begin. Please note that print reserves circulate for 2 hours.
If you have questions or need assistance, please ask the Law Library Faculty and Staff.
November is Native American Heritage Month. Native American Heritage Month began as a weeklong celebration in 1986 and changed to a monthlong celebration in 1990. The month of November was chosen because November signifies the end of the traditional harvest season followed by a period of thanksgiving and celebration. President Donald Trump’s Proclamation for the celebration of Native American Heritage Month in 2018 may be found here.
The presence of the Carlisle Indian School attracted several Native American students to Dickinson Law. The first Native American student is believed to have been Samuel Townsend, of the Pawnee Tribe, who attended the Law School in 1893. Hastings M. Robertson was another early Native American student.
Several early Native American Dickinson Law students also played football for the Carlisle Indian School. These students included: Ed Rogers (Chippewa), James Marston Phillips (Cherokee), Gustavus Welch (Chippewa), Albert Andrew Exendine (Delaware), Victor Murat Kelly (Choctaw) and William Jennings Gardner (Chippewa).
William Jennings Gardner also went on to become one of Eliot Ness’ famous Untouchables, the group of agents who took on Al Capone during the Prohibition.
In Judge John Reed’s proposal to Dickinson College for the formation of his law school, he requested that Dickinson College confer the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree upon any graduates of his school. Dickinson College agreed, and on July 15, 1836, Judge Reed requested that the President of Dickinson College award the LLB degree upon four students: H. Nelson McAllister, William P. Orbison, J.H. Carter and Hyatt P. Hepburn. In 1837, he requested that the degree be awarded to R.A. McMurrie, Alfred Nevin and Andrew Curtin. Alfred Nevin had been the first to enroll in the Law School, and Andrew Curtin would go on to become Pennsylvania’s Civil War Governor.
The LLB was originally awarded during a time when possessing a bachelor’s degree was not necessarily a requirement for attending law school. Over time, this of course changed, and law schools began gravitating towards the award of a juris doctor (JD) degree instead. In 1964, the American Bar Association (ABA) noted that there was a lack of uniformity and confusion over the name of the degree being awarded by law schools, with some schools continuing to award LLB degrees while others were awarding JD degrees. However, by that time, both degrees had evolved to signify the same thing, i.e., that a student had successfully completed a professional program in the law above and beyond that of a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, the ABA passed a resolution, recommending that all ABA-approved law schools award JD degrees.
Dickinson Law began awarding the JD degree to law graduates in 1966, and in 1968, decided to award the degree retroactively to graduates who desired to make the switch. Burton R. Laub, The Dickinson School of Law: Proud and Independent (1983).