International Judicial Monitor
Published by the International judicial Academy of the International Law Institute, Washington, D.C.
with circulation assistance from the American Society of International Law

Fall 2017 Issue

Judicial Tourism


Strasbourg, France – Center of European Law Activity


By: James G. Apple, Editor-in-Chief, International Judicial Monitor

Strasbourg is one of the loveliest cities in Europe. A major allure it holds for tourists is the red early 11th Century gothic cathedral which stands in the center of the old town, generally conceded to be one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Strasbourg’s city center, the oldest part of the city named the Grand Ile, has been selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, one of the few cities in the world and the first where the designation is for the entire city centre. The visitor will not tire from walking through the many quaint streets and alleyways in this part of the city.

Strasbourg stands at the far eastern border of France with Germany, on the Rhine River. The energetic tourist can easily cross one of the Rhine bridges from Strasbourg and be in Germany. The city has belonged to different countries during its long history – sometimes being a part of France and sometimes a part of Germany. It was a German city during World War II  and reverted back to France at the end of the war. Because of this long history the city reflects a unique Franco-German culture and cuisine.

There are many charming canals and bridges which are delightful for the energetic traveler. Tourist canal boats are available for a water trip through the city.

The city is important for the judicial traveler for several reasons. First it is the seat of the Council of Europe (not


to be confused with the European Union) and its most important international organ, the European Court of Human Rights. The legal importance of the ECHR cannot be overstated; it has become, through its many thousand decisions from all parts of Europe, the unofficial “supreme court of Europe.” Strasbourg is also official seat of the European Parliament. Two architecturally modern and beautiful buildings along side one of the canals house both the ECHR and the European Parliament. These and the Council of Europe building can be visited if arrangements are made in advance.

The second largest university in France, the University of Strasbourg, is located there. Several fine museums are also available for visits, including the Musee de l’Oeuvre Notre Dame located adjacent to the Cathedral.

The city also can claim a significant number of famous personages who have lived there, including Johannes Gutenberg (inventor of the movable type printing press – who has a city square named after him) John Calvin, Johann Goethe, Louis Pasteur, and Albert Sweitzer.

Strasboug is served by a good transportation system, with trains daily coming in and out of the City.

There are a number of significant sites to visit for the judicial/legal traveler, beginning with the buildings that house the European Parliament, located on one of the many canals that transverse the city. The second site that is a must visit for the judicial/legal traveler is the nearby European Court of Human Rights.

ASIl & International Judicial AcademyInternational Judicial Monitor
© 2017 – The International Judicial Academy
with assistance from the American Society of International Law.

Editor: James G. Apple.
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