Sunday, October 11, 2009
International criminal justice - my summer
After a great meal with a friend currently in law school, we begun to talk about international criminal justice. He's taking one such class and as we talked about the many topics that plague international justice now (and for many years), it reminded me to post my blog about my summer at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown, Sierra and in the international capital of international law, the Hague.
I will write more about life in Sierra Leone later. Now I want to tell you about my experience at the Special Court. I took the summer off to learn more about international criminal law and practice and what better place was there than the Special Court? The prosecution team was very knowledgable and helpful as I settled in. We were working on the sentencing appeals in the RUF trial. For more information go to http://www.sc-sl.org/CASES/ProsecutorvsSesayKallonandGbaoRUFCase/RUFSummaryoftheCharges/tabid/185/Default.aspx . In addition to the legal experience, it was interesting to learn more about the history of the war, the subsequent reconclilation and better yet the resilience of the people.
I had to leave Sierra Leone early to attend the Hague Academy. That was great. Housed in the International Court of Justice I had the opportunity not only to learn a lot of legal theory, but also the opportunity to meet some of the world's best jurists at the ICJ (from left to right: Judge Burgenthal, Judge Koroma, Judge Trindade). I also met a lot of lawyers from around the world all doing interesting stuff. I was inspired.
That said, my friend and I are still debating how to improve the international criminal system. We have concluded that a lot more is being done than has been done in the past and as young lawyers we hope to continue to contribute to the betterment of the system.