Mock Trial for Human Rights 2021-2022

The international Mock Trial on Human Rights
2022 - Synopsis of Program

75 years to the Nuremberg Doctor’s Trials
Humanity vs. Professor Ernst Rüdin
Project Initiator – Avi Omer, Attorney

Vision and Goals of the Project:

Educating to pluralism, equality and respect to the other and “otherness.”

Future young Leaders from a dozen countries joining together in a global initiative against Racism, Abuse of People with Disabilities, Xenophobia, Antisemitism, Religious-based Hatred and all forms of oppression and incitement by leaders.

A generation of Future Leaders demands historical justice:

  • This project is one of the main initiatives of the Social Excellence Forum, which purpose is to train young potential leaders for their future task and global social responsibility to protect the human rights of all human beings.
  • Mock trials have been proven to be a powerful tool for instilling values of democracy and human rights in young future leaders, as a part of the constant fight against racism and discrimination of all forms. 
  • This mock trial will bring together high school students-leaders from around the world to act as agents of change and implement these values among their peers and social circles.
  • The mock trial will be a milestone towards establishing the “International Young Leaders’ Parliament for Human Rights” which will serve as a meeting point for young leaders as ambassadors of their countries in a unique student-institution, based on the understanding that unity of all mankind is essential to creating a free and fair world.
  • The trial gains its validity and academic evaluation from the fact that it will be supported by world renowned academics, judges, universities and international organizations, with the purpose to contribute to the education of the future generation on the essential importance of the values included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) as a global, binding constitution.

The training process of the international team of young litigators:

Prominent high school students from different countries will act as prosecutors and defense attorneys and as members of the special jury, in order to bring the defendant to justice, in light of the effects of his crimes on today’s world. 

The litigators will be trained in a unique process (delivered by the program’s management) which will include frontal and Zoom lectures by professional, world-renowned jurists, scholars and key figures. The student-litigators will also be assisted by senior students from chosen universities.

The members of the jury in each country will also be specifically trained for their duty at the trial.

The trial of Ernst Rüdin as a symbolic renewal of the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trials

The defendant, Professor Ernst Rüdin (1874-1952), was a physician and one of the leading psychiatrists of the early 20th century. He is considered to be one of the most dominant scientific leaders and propagators of Racial Hygiene thought and policies before and during the Third Reich.

Long before Hitler rose to power, Rüdin was already avidly promoting eugenic theory and practice, and with the advent of Nazi rule he swiftly became one of the top figures behind the “Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases” (1934), which brought about the forced sterilization of 400,000 people, and the death of around 10,000 of them from medical complications. Additionally, he supported and was deeply involved in the so-called “Euthanasia” Program, where more than 300,000 psychiatric patients were murdered by poisoning, starvation or in gas chambers.

Prof. Ernst Rüdin as a representative of a broader category of criminal leaders

Rüdin was not chosen as a defendant for the Mock Trial only for his own actions, but also as a major representative of a broader category of leaders, scientists and thinkers who engaged in incitement against minorities and who justified the blatant violations of human rights they preached for by scientific, philosophic or political claims, eventually being responsible for extreme abuse of basic human rights and mass murder of hundreds of thousands innocent people.

Rüdin was interned by the allied forces after WWII, but was eventually released and never stood trial for his crimes. The future young leaders, representing the international community, will bring him to justice.

The trial’s arguments will clearly declare that:

  • Human Rights are not privileges, but naturally belong to all human beings.
  • All individuals of all nationalities, races, colors, religions, abilities, genders and other forms of diversity deserve their rights to be protected.
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 should be recognized as an international and global constitution; Its principles should be protected in such a way that no leader and no regime would be able to abuse or infringe upon them.
  • The Nuremberg trials were an essential landmark and a global declaration on behalf of humanity, testifying to the fact that Human Rights offenders will be pursued by future leaders even decades after committing their crimes.
  • Leaders and public figures will bear the full responsibility for their actions and they are obliged to take action to prevent infringements of human rights, discrimination, extremism, racism, violence and genocidal activities on a racial or religious basis, as an essential part of their duties as leaders. As stated by Professor Irwin Cotler, founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, in a quote from the case in Rwanda: “The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers; it began with words.”

Even though the project stages a mock trial, this trial is by no means symbolic or theoretical. Its contents and evidence are actual; Its subject matter connects also to current issues of human rights violations stemming from contemporary eugenic theory and policies. They enable a deeper understanding of the various threats posed by racism, incitement against minorities and foreigners and discrimination of people with disabilities. 

The Tribunal – leading judges from international courts:

The defendant will be prosecuted for his involvement and support of deadly programs of racial ideology. The defendant is accused of promoting mass sterilization of patients, their murder and the murder of children in order to research and scientifically investigate their brains. Both prosecution and defense will use carefully collected evidence that demonstrate Rüdin’s personal involvement in these crimes (collected from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich and other archives in Germany and the US) which include authentic correspondence and signed papers by the defendant, instructions for forced sterilization, testimonies regarding the use of brains for research, etc. 

The list of witnesses will include some of the most illustrious names in the corresponding fields of Psychology, History, Bioethics and Law. These include also the president of the Weizmann Institute and former director of the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, and the former attorney of Nelson Mandela and Minister of Justice of Canada.


Various scholars, organization, legal experts and judges have volunteered to take part in the previous trial project, creating a meaningful and professional support for its participants. Most of them and others will lead this trial as well, and will also accompany some of its future offshoot educational initiatives related to human rights. 

Hundreds of pupils from various countries will take part as jurors in this unprecedented case:

The jurors list will include hundreds of participants from a dozen different countries. They will present the judges with their conclusions to each of the accusations after hearing the evidence and background learning.  The vote will be done digitally, which will allow quick data-processing and live screened results. The decision of the jurors will play an important role in the final judgement against the defendant.

The judges will explain their verdict bearing in mind the educational aspect: 

The judges will examine the circumstances and evidence of the crime. However, this project is an educational project and therefore the judges will also refer to the need to create “red lines” for world leaders concerning the implications of their words and deeds.

The verdict’s contribution to society:

The verdict will be based on the analysis and scrutiny of evidence. The judges will explain and sign their verdicts, each judge according to his or her own understanding of evidence and according to the rules of international law.

The added value of the project is the various tools that the participants will receive. These include a film which will compile and document the main parts of the project, a library of recorded interviews of the various experts who take part in the project, lists of sources, interactive educational tools, guiding booklets for teachers and advisors and a legal textbook. These tools could later be used as academic sources for students debating issues of human rights, ethics and international law.  

The main educational topics of the project:

The trial raises a few cardinal issues and delivers to the leaders of the future a clear messages concerning:  

  • Personal responsibility of leaders and influencers on their actions and deeds.
  • Human rights of people with disabilities and special needs, in accordance with the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 
  • Young leaders as agents of change – the generation of tomorrow and the crimes of yesterday.
  • Recognition of incitement and promotion of ideas leading to abuse of human rights as a crime.
  • The risks of blind obedience to leaders.
  • The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a basic principle for a future global constitution.
  • Education for democratic thinking and pluralism, as a tool to counter racial profiling as well as different forms of incitement worldwide.
  • Sensitivity to the risks posed by racism and all other types of oppression and discrimination for the future of mankind.

The project will include 3 main stages:

Stage 1: October-December 2021

Confirmation of the participating schools & litigators

Conducting the election process of the litigators and members of the jury from each country. 

Starting The training process of the participants in each country.

Launching the project 

For this stage of the project, the Social Excellence Forum will work together with the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme of the United Nations Department of Global Communications. The Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2005 to further education about and remembrance of the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide.

Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational products, seminars, exhibitions, a film series and the annual worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, held on 27 January. 

“Doctors Trial: Ethics, Justice and the Holocaust”

The project will be launched at a special panel discussion titled “Doctors Trial: Ethics, Justice and the Holocaust” and organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme. The event will mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the so-called Doctors Trial (9 December 1946), The Forum for Social Excellence will introduce the project and will share a short concept film. The event be broadcast on the UN Web TV.

The short concept film will be available on the websites of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and the Social Excellence Forum. The short concept film will include a trailer, video clips of the work in progress, historical documentation, pictures of the participants in the process of studying and preparing the project and short videos and photographs of the previous trial, which will demonstrate the legal issue and the importance of the trial.

Stage 2: January 2022 – December 2022


Litigators & jury working on their arguments, learning, and practicing the rules of performance in front of judges.

This training stage will be conducted by professional lecturers, professors, students, lawyers and legal experts.

The litigators training will include (if possible in their countries) visits in the Supreme Courts or Parliaments of their countries. At the same time, the experts and the witnesses will be interviewed and filmed and the evidence and arguments will be prepared for the trial. 

Shooting of specific scenes from the training process to be included in the short film mentioned below.

Stage 3: December 2022-January 2023

Presentation of the trial:

The trial will be presented in two parts:

The first part will include the opening statements, the presentation of the arguments by the litigators, the presentation of the evidence and the investigation of the witnesses. 

A renowned actor, whose identity will be revealed in due course, will play the defendant. The trial will include moments of dramatic re-enactment, based on the true story.

The first part of the trial will be screened simultaneously only to the participating institutions and schools.

The Second part will include the conclusion of the trial and the presentation of the juries’ and judge’s decisions.

The closing statements will be presented, followed by a digital voting of the jurors in the various participating countries. The judges will then deliver their verdict.

The trial will be screened simultaneously in the participating countries and will subsequently be uploaded to the website of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, where it will be made available to viewers throughout the world in English and translations in various languages. 

Signing of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

Following the trial, a symbolic signing of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by members of all the participating schools will take place. This will serve to constitute the importance of the UDHR and will demonstrate the support of all the participants in the core value it represents.

The project’s educational film

The final, edited and abbreviated version of the trial (divided in accordance with the different aspects and subjects) will be made available for schools to purchase worldwide. 

The schools, universities and other institutions could use the film and implement its messages for the purpose of interactive education on human rights. More research material could be provided for academic students for their studies. This can include guidance on preparation of mock-trials and scholarly material.


This document is a brief outline of the project and therefore does not include all its aspects, goals, and benefits. The background material, the aims, the manner of work, the academic support and all other contents will be given upon request.