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Comparative Justice in Germany & The Hague, Netherlands


Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg, The Hague, Germany, The Netherlands

Program Description

JUST 323: 'Comparative Justice in Germany and The Hague' is a study abroad course that focuses on criminal, global, and social justice issues in both a domestic and international context. The program will cover a wide range of topics that will attract students of justice and related disciplines. Dr. Castle (Critical/Cultural Criminology) and Dr. Beitzel (Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence) have designed a course that encompasses a wide range of justice issues across all three tracks (crime and criminology, global and social justice), including:

*State and war crime; genocide; crimes against humanity
*International law
*Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding
*Rise of the Third Reich and Fascism today
*Post-WWII justice and punishment
*Nuremberg tribunals, ad hoc tribunals, and the International Criminal Court

The purpose of offering JUST 323 as a study abroad course is to provide students a hands-on, learning experience that they cannot get in the traditional classroom. To that end, the majority of our coursework will revolve around our site visits, presentations, discussions, and reflections.

There are two parts to this course. The first week of the course will be online before we travel. Students will complete a series of reading, writing, discussion, and possibly film-viewing assignments and accompanying quizzes on Canvas. The deadline for these activities will be provided on the syllabus, but all online work must be completed before arrival in Munich.

The second part of the course begins once we land in Munich, where our experiential trip will include visits to some of the most important sites to global and international justice. Some of these include:
*Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
*Nazi Party Rally Grounds
*Nuremberg Trial Courthouse and Memoriam
*Berlin Wall Memorial & East Side Gallery
*Checkpoint Charlie
*Stasi Museum
*Holocaust Memorial & Gleis 17, Grunewald Station
*Nazi Forced Labor Documentation Center
*Berlin- Hohenschoenhausen
*Reichstag Building
*The Peace Palace/International Court of Justice
*International Criminal Court
*Humanity House

Students will be assessed based on their active participation and engagement in all activities, and reflecting on them through journal writing. There are no traditional classroom lectures while in Europe.

Location Description

The primary location for this program are three cities in Germany (Munich, Nuremberg, and Berlin), and one in the Netherlands (The Hague).

Munich is the capital of Bavaria, north of the Bavarian Alps, and is the third largest city in Germany. The city has a vibrant old town, and is famous for the annual Oktoberfest celebration.

Nuremberg was the undeclared capital of the Roman Empire, and was a vibrant city full of beautiful art and architecture. After WWII, the city was chosen to be the site for the war crimes tribunal, and the city’s old castle and churches were reconstructed.

Berlin is the capital and largest city in Germany. While Berlin is a multicultural world city, it maintains the feel of an international village.

Our final stop will be The Hague, which is the seat of the Dutch government and boasts over 150 international organizations. It is also known as the ‘Royal City by the Sea’ and is designated the international city of peace and justice.


Taimi Castle | | Justice Studies

Terry Beitzel | Justice Studies


We will be staying in hotels that are centrally located, with access to the internet and public transportation. All of the cities are modern, and students will be able to navigate very easily on their own time. The housing accommodations are double and/or triple rooms with private bathrooms.

Some meals will be provided in the cost of the trip (all breakfasts and some dinners). Students will need to bring money to cover lunches/dinners that are not covered by the program fee, or when students have free days. Program directors will give guidance in terms of a variety of dining options in different price ranges.

Additional Items to Consider

We will begin the trip in Munich and end in The Hague. Students should make sure that the plane tickets they purchase take this into account (will discuss in orientation meeting).

No visas, immunizations or background checks are required, but passport information will be needed for some visits to the courts.

Familiarity with the German language is not required as all instruction, presentations, and visits will be given in English.

This course will fulfill a major core requirement for Justice Studies majors. If you have already fulfilled this requirement with JUST 323 or 328, you may still take the course and it will count as an elective for all 3 Tracks.

The course is also open to Criminal Justice minors as an elective.

Students from all majors are eligible for participation in this program, and may use the course to fulfill one of their general electives.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

JUST 200 is required for all JUST majors; Outside majors are eligible but need to meet with director.

Junior or senior standing

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


JUST 323: Special Topics in Justice Studies: Comparative Criminal Justice (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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