Professor Gregory Gordon to Present at Chapman Law School

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

School of Law


On November 4, 2013, at the Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Professor Gregory Gordon will be presenting his paper "The Forgotten Nuremberg Hate Speech Case: Otto Dietrich and the Future of Persecution Law." In the paper, Professor Gordon challenges the conventional wisdom that the Nuremberg judgments against Nazi propagandists Julius Streicher and Hans Fritzsche, which arrived at different results, constitute the founding texts of atrocity speech law. Instead, he urges reconsideration of the largely obscured judgment against Nazi press chief Otto Dietrich, who was convicted of crimes against humanity (persecution) despite the fact that the charged language did not directly call for violence. Given a split between the ad hoc international tribunals on the issue of whether hate speech, standing alone and not explicitly calling for violence, can be the basis of a persecution charge, Professor Gordon argues that the Dietrich precedent could play a key role in persuading courts to find that such speech can be the basis of persecution charges. This may have an impact on current cases arising from, among other places, Rwanda, Burma, and Sudan. The paper was originally presented at Harvard Law School last spring and was recently accepted for publication in the Ohio State Law Journal, one of the nation's top main law reviews.