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Professor Slomanson Visits Hungary

July 13, 2015

Professor William Slomanson’s visit to Hungary in June was sponsored by Debrecen University (Debrecen), Catholic University (Budapest), and the International Law Association’s Hungarian Branch (Budapest).

His presentations were entitled Crimean Annexation in International Law. The YouTube version is available at: The revised book chapter version will appear in the HUNGARIAN YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN LAW.

“These proceedings were quite informative for me,” said Professor Slomanson. “I encountered Eastern European perspectives on the Ukrainian crisis. Crimea’s localized referendum, its secession from Ukraine, Russia’s military occupation, and its ensuing annexation of Crimea, all played a momentous role in what one could describe—for the time being—as Cold War Lite. As of six weeks ago, Ukraine now seeks a nuclear missile defense shield. If that happens, Vladimir Putin has threatened to place Russian nukes in Crimea. That particular event will no doubt drive the Cold War II brinksmanship which is already of great concern the international community.”

Slomanson also led a panel at Catholic University on two related topics. The first addressed the Teaching of International Law—based on his graduate level experience at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and his undergraduate practice at Pristina University (Kosovo), where he is a Visiting Professor. Slomanson next addressed Blended Learning, a pedagogical approach which Catholic University is currently considering. Slomanson summarized his Blended Learning Project, which is viewable at:, scroll to Projects/Blended Learning.

The Thomas Jefferson-Debrecen-Catholic University teachers’ panel presented an ideal opportunity to share cross-Atlantic views about the teaching of International Law. As Professor Slomanson revealed “I had previously incorporated an oral exam component into my Cal Civ Pro and International Law classes. But I harbored concerns about the efficacy of the foreign oral-only final exam process. Observing the European tradition of oral final examinations, firsthand at Debrecen, shed a more positive light on my version of that process for my Thomas Jefferson and Pristina classes.”

Slomanson said he would like to thank Debrecen’s Professor Sandor Szemesi, Catholic’s Professor Ádány Tamas and Hungarian International Law Association President, Professor Wanda Lamm, for their respective roles in Thomas Jefferson’s evolving relationship with Hungary. Professor Szemesi, for example, will be using his E.U. scholarship to visit Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2016. Slomanson also thanks the Miskolc University Law Faculty, where he visited in 2007, for arranging his visit with the Hungarian Minister of Justice.  

Debrecen’s Professor Szemesi also arranged for Professor Slomanson’s return via Krakow, so that he could visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. Slomanson’s immediate reaction was that “when I walked into the mock gas chamber, with two small ceiling holes for inserting Zyklon B, I envisioned Brando—describing war to Sheen (Apocalypse Now)—attempting to articulate “The Horror.”