Here are a couple of quick updates from Shira Straus, one of the Brandeis students in The Hague this summer for our new study abroad program on international justice. For fuller insight into the program, you can read more entries from Shira’s own blog at http://red-in-the-hague.tumblr.com/
Monday, July 5
We just had a really amazing two hour lecture/discussion with Ekkehard Withopf, the Senior Prosecutor for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (formerly with the ICC, working on the Lubanga trial).
The topic of his lecture was prosecution strategies for pre-trial proceedings with a focus on pre-confirmation hearings, but it ended up being a really interactive class discussion of some of the considerations (ethical, strategical, political, etc) that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in any international tribunal faces.
It was really great that we got to hear from him now in Week 6 as opposed to earlier in the program, because as a group we simply would not have been able to participate, ask questions, make observations, etc in the same way.
Tuesday, July 6
We had our last class session today with the former Secretary-General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as a guest speaker. He’s a powerhouse of a man, and began his lecture with the following quote:
“We live in a world that is becoming more and more multi-polar.”
The discussion centered around Europe’s role in the current global political society, and eventually came to the conclusion that it’s much easier to ask these important questions than to answer them (big surprise).