Southern Illinois University School of Law–Legal Globalization & Comparative Law 2014

Home » Uncategorized » Luxembourg, The Hague, and Amsterdam

Luxembourg, The Hague, and Amsterdam

We departed Nuremburg and headed to Luxembourg after seeing the Nazi Rally Grounds. The next day we were able to see the European Court of Justice. This court would be the equivalent of our Federal Court. Each country would be regarded as a state, and the European Union law is controlling. This building was absolutely beautiful. It was modern and the courtrooms were decked out in wood. Lining the walls of each courtroom were boxes where translators sat. In each seat there was a headset where each viewer could listen to the proceeding in his or her native language. One would think things would get lost in the translation. However, one of the speakers we had during our visit told us the translators are extremely good and even on the most complex of issues, get the translation right. There is also a lot of communication between the people who work here in order to understand the intricacies of the different languages. It was very impressive that people who spoke four or five languages actually were on the low end of numbers of languages spoken.

After our visit, we headed to The Hague and saw the International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICC handles cases of war crimes, crimes against humanities and other atrocities when a country either cannot or will not punish the people responsible. Most of these cases have stemmed out of Africa so far. The International Court of Justice is an arm of the United Nations in which countries can bring suits against each other. After our visits of these beautiful courts, we headed to Amsterdam. We visited the Anne Frank house on the last day of our trip. This visit gave us an insight into the psyche of Jewish families during the Holocaust. It was inspiring that the Franks each continued to live their lives with as much normalcy as they could. Anne and Margot still studied and continued to broaden their minds. It was also heartbreaking to see some of the suffering they went through. Anne longed to be outside, to be free from the prison in which she was contained. We also knew, due to the diary, that they knew people were being gassed at the concentration camps. The fear they must have felt as they were finally discovered must have been overwhelming. One of the most heartbreaking moments was listening to Otto Frank (the father and only survivor) talk about how hard it was to read the diary. He said he really didn’t know Anne as well as he though he did, even though they were very close. As parents and children, we want to feel as though we know each other inside and out, however, it is very hard to come to grips with the fact that there are aspects of each other that we don’t know.

~BT

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