NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Bar Association and the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience at Rutgers University announced today that they will not be deterred by the enactment of a new law in Poland that criminalizes the expression of certain opinions regarding the Holocaust. The new law will not affect plans to co-sponsor a continuing legal education (CLE) program in conjunction with the annual International March of the Living at Auschwitz in April.

"Our program will examine the role of lawyers and judges in the Holocaust, and their current role in preventing genocide, seeking justice after atrocities, and protecting vulnerable communities," said John J. Farmer, Jr., a University Professor of Law and former New Jersey Attorney General and Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission who directs the Miller Center.

"We will not allow the enactment of this ill-considered law to lessen our commitment to an open exploration of the truth regarding the Holocaust."

The Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience focuses on identifying and working to protect vulnerable communities in Europe and the United States.  It has entered into a partnership with the New Jersey Bar Association and the International March of the Living to offer continuing legal education this year; beginning next year, the Paul Miller Deans Program will offer Deans of schools of law and education an intensive education in Holocaust history and genocide prevention, followed by their participation in the International March of the Living.

“The New Jersey State Bar Association remains committed, now more than ever, to the important mission of the March of the Living,” said New Jersey State Bar Association President Robert B. Hille.  “Especially in light of the recent law, we believe that studying and reflecting on the lessons of the past is essential to ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself.”

The April program will feature addresses by renowned historians of the Holocaust Joshua Greene, author of Justice at Dachau, John Q. Barrett, the biographer of Justice Robert Jackson, the Chief Prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials, and attorney Richard Heideman, an expert on the silencing effects of the Nuremberg Laws.  Turning to today's world, it will also feature expert discussions of modern efforts to bring war criminals in the Balkans and elsewhere to justice, to prevent genocide in Africa and South Asia, and to protect vulnerable communities throughout the world.

"Our efforts to protect vulnerable communities and prevent genocide today cannot succeed without an honest assessment of how the atrocities of the past happened,” Farmer said.  "We will not be able to prevent if we are forbidden to remember."