Digital Exhibition Explains Issues in International Law

Photo: Pixabay Exhibition cover photo
Photo: Pixabay Exhibition cover photo
When does a state become a party to war? When are sanctions permissible? What about Russian theft of grain? And how can war crimes be punished? Due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a digital exhibition now provides brief, understandable insight into the legal questions related to the war. The project was developed by Dr. Anne Dienelt and students in the Faculty of Law at Universität Hamburg.

The digital multimedia exhibition illuminates 14 issues in international law. Short texts include illustrations and other material such as headlines from online media, messages in social networks, and legal texts. The goal is to make complex legal issues graspable and to answer questions.

-The occasion for our project was the awareness that there are many abridged accounts with regard to the legal status of the conflict. Moreover, you find in social networks, for example, false claims and conspiracy theories,- says Dr. Anne Dienelt, senior research fellow at the Institute of International Affairs in the Faculty of Law at Universität Hamburg. Thus, it was her idea to offer students a seminar on legal issues related to the Ukraine war and to present the results to the public.

Fourteen law students in different semesters worked together with their instructor to develop and study the themes. From the roughly 25-page term papers, brief one-page summaries were prepared; these, in turn, were shortened further to ensure that the exhibition would not be too text-laden. In addition to the exhibition materials, visual ideas and illustrations were developed with the artist Marlin Beringer.

The international law seminar was thus also a science communication project in which students could communicate their work during their studies. They received help from the University’s Writing Center and from Marlin Beringer, who offered a class on imagery. -That is somewhat unusual but very instructive for the students, because generally understandable language is also important for lawyers later. Currently, this ability is still not fostered in university training,- says Dienelt.

You can find the exhibition at