Network of Concerned Historians Wants to Know About Legal Cases Involving Members of the Profession

Historians in the News

Dear colleagues,

In addition to 62 codes of ethics for historians and others (please see circular of last week), the Network of Concerned Historians website ( also contains 71 legal cases that for one or another reason are of importance to historians. Most are available in English, some also in French, Spanish, or another language. These cases come from international courts or national supreme courts.

They involve the following countries: Andorra (1), Argentina (1), Australia (1), Austria (7), Belgium (1), Bosnia-Herzegovina (3), Bulgaria (6), Canada (2), Chile (1), France (9), Germany (11), Greece (1), Honduras (1), Netherlands (3), New Zealand (1), Poland (1), Romania (2), Rwanda (2), Slovakia (3), Switzerland (3), Turkey (6), United Kingdom (3), Uruguay (1), and Western Sahara (1).

The questions of importance to historians they raise include: academic freedom; amnesty laws; apology of war crimes; archival information, including preservation of, content of, and access to; book ban; commissioned history; defamation, including posthumous defamation; destruction of cultural momuments and sacred sites; dissemination of separatist propaganda; duty of successor regimes to investigate and prosecute; erasure of evidence for genocide; freedom of information; genocide, including denial of, and incitement to; historical treaties; lapses of time after an event; less immunity for politicians; nondisclosure of sources; peaceful assembly; privacy, including posthumous privacy; protection of personality; racial discrimination; right to know; right to mourn; right to the truth; scattering of ashes; terra nullius; wills.

Please send any legal cases of importance to historians (or a link to them) that you may be aware of to:

Thank you and with best wishes,

Antoon De Baets

comments powered by Disqus