During the week of September 17th, twelve 3L students, accompanied by Professor Jenny Martinez and Visiting Professor Beth Van Schaack, traveled to the Netherlands to spend a week in The Hague as part of an International Criminal Justice course offered by SLS.
During their trip, students met with officials—judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, victims’ advocates, and interns—from the major international institutions located in The Hague, including the International Criminal Court (pictured above with the Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda); the successor tribunals for the Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone tribunals; the International Court of Justice; the U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal; and the newest institution in town, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. They also held a session with the State Department legal advisers based in the U.S. embassy and hosted a forum of civil society organizations focused on international justice issues. The program culminated in an alumni event in Amsterdam attended by alumni located in the vicinity of this vibrant international law capital.
Perspectives: Studying at The Hague
In our Stanford classroom, professors Martinez and Van Schaack led us through the history of international tribunals, the development and operation of the courts currently in session in The Hague, the types of crimes prosecuted by these courts, and the policy debates swirling around their creation. We read judicial opinions handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and reviewed background material to prepare for the trials we would be observing. I’m not quite sure how they did it, but in only 15 hours of class, professors Martinez and Van Schaack had us thinking and arguing like the international criminal lawyers we would be meeting with the next week (or at least I’d like to think so!).
Read Stanford Lawyer Issue 91