The University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy has just released its latest issue (Vol. IV, Number 2, Spring 2010), which is dedicated to the proceedings of a conference on “The Armenian Genocide within the Framework of National and International Law,” held at the university in February of this year. Appearing during the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, this volume opens with words from the prayer of Pope John Paul II at the Memorial at Tzitzernagaberd in 2001: Listen, O Lord, to the lament that rises from this place, to the call of the dead from the depths of the Metz Yeghern, the cry of innocent blood that pleads like the blood of Abel, like Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more. Legal studies related to the Armenian Genocide are rare, but this is the first issue of a law journal devoted entirely to the subject. As the Table of Contents on the cover indicates, the papers are on a wide range of topics, from the failure of reforms in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century to the ability of the State of Massachusetts to teach the Armenian Genocide today. As Editor-in-Chief John Sandy notes in his introduction, the Armenian Genocide is not only the first genocide of the 20th century, it is also the prototype for how subsequent genocides worked. He goes on to observe that “The immense cost of the destruction, the mass movement of refugees and the clean-up after genocide will fall to the countries most prepared to provide aid. It is therefore in their national interest, as well as that of the rest of the world, to create an effective international legal regime for the prevention and punishment of genocide. In devoting the current issue to the Armenian Genocide, we hope to understand genocide in general, and to stimulate greater interest in genocide and the law. Most importantly, through scholarship, we hope to give voice to the voiceless.” The conference was jointly organized and sponsored by the Journal and the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (IIGHRS) (A Division of the Zoryan Institute), with the participation of the Cafesjian Family Foundation and the Minneapolis Foundation.
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